Arusha, September 11, 2001 (FH) - A former Rwandan minister on trial for genocide delivered weapons to militia by helicopter, a prosecution witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. The 39th prosecution witness, dubbed "LAP" to protect his identity, was testifying in the so-called Cyangugu trial.

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LAP told the court that on January 28th, 1994, former Transport minister André Ntagerura arrived in Bigogwe military camp in Gisenyi, northwest Rwanda, and delivered cases of weapons and uniforms for militia. Ntagerura is in a joint trial with former Cyangugu military commander Samuel Imanishimwe and former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki. All have pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in massacres of Tutsis in Cyangugu during the genocide. LAP was testifying for the second day. He told the court that he and others cleared a patch for the helicopter to land. "I was in charge of security," LAP said. The witness is a confessed killer who is in detention in Rwanda. The court heard that LAP went inside the helicopter to unload "cases of weapons and bales of clothing", which were allegedly brought by Ntagerura. According to LAP, Ntagerura said at Bigogwe he would head for Cyangugu, and that he would contact the director of public run buses (ONATRACOM) to transport Interahamwe militia there. In cross-examination, LAP admitted he had not mentioned ONATRACOM buses in his written statement. He said he had not talked about them either toTribunal investigators or during examination by the prosecution. "I did not say it before but now I am saying it," said LAP in response to Ntagerura's Canadian lawyer Benoit Henry, who maintained that this bit of the testimony was "fictitious. " Part of the testimony was heard in camera. The hearing continues Wednesday morning before ICTR's Trial Chamber Three, with cross-examination of LAP by defence counsel for Bagambiki and Imanishimwe. The Chamber is composed of judges Lloyd Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JC/FH (CY0911E)