Arusha, September 10, 2001 (FH) - Former Cyangugu military leader and genocide suspect Samuel Imanishimwe led killers in eating human flesh during the 1994 massacres in Rwanda, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The 39th prosecution witness, dubbed "LAP" to protect his identity, told the Chamber that he participated in killings in April 1994 in Gatandara region and Kamarampaka stadium in Cyangugu.

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He claimed that accused Imanishimwe "started a ritual of eating human flesh". "He showed us an example, he ate the heart and liver (of one of the victims)," LAP told the court. "Were these eaten raw or cooked?" asked prosecutor Holo Makwaia. LAP responded that they were "eaten after being roasted as brochettes". The so-called Cyangugu trial resumed Monday afternoon, after a delay in the morning due to the absence of defence counsel for one of the other accused, former prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki. However, Belgian lead counsel Vincent Lurquin arrived in the afternoon and explained to the Chamber that he had had transport problems en route from Europe. The Cyangugu trial groups former prefect Bagambiki, former Transport Minister André Ntagerura and former Cyangugu military barracks commander Imanishimwe. 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 1994 genocide. LAP is a detainee in Rwanda for crimes committed during the genocide. The witness said he had been one of a group of killers at a roadblock in Gatandara and that Imanishimwe and Bagambiki had brought people to them on more than three occasions to be killed. The witness said the two instructed him and others to kill the people brought to them because they were Tutsi. According to LAP, victims were brought to the roadblock on April 13th, 14th and 22nd. But the killings in Cyangugu started shortly after the death of former president Juvénal Habyarimana, the witness said. Apart from those killed at the roadblock, LAP said more people were killed who had taken refuge in the Kamarampaka stadium. Their bodies were thrown in a pit latrine, he told the court. LAP said that a former mayor, Napoleon Mubiligi, and Cyangugu deputy prosecutor Siméon Nshamihigo were also present during some of the killings. Nshamihigo, a former Tribunal defence investigator, is now indicted and detained by the ICTR. The court heard that Imanishimwe shot and killed a woman who was among the victims. LAP told the Chamber that Imanishimwe tried to rape the victim but shot her in the genitals when she resisted. The hearing will proceed on Tuesday morning before judges Lloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Judge Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JC/PHD/FH (CY0910f)