Arusha, November 26, 2001 (FH) - A confessed killer testifying for the prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday admitted that he had lied in his confession statement to judicial authorities in Rwanda. Detainee witness "GOA" is testifying in the genocide trial of Juvénal Kajelijeli, former mayor of Mukingo commune in Ruhengeri, northwest Rwanda.

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GOA initially testified in this case in July but has been recalled at the defence's request to answer questions regarding his confession statement to Rwandan judicial authorities. The defence says that GOA's confession contradicts his testimony before the ICTR. "I lied to the prosecutor in Rwanda," GOA told the court in response to a question on contradictions between the confession statement and testimony in court. "At the time I made the confession, I didn't know I would be charged with genocide," said GOA. "I later spoke the truth in court. " GOA made his confession statement in February 1999. He also said that he hadlied in another statement to the Rwandan Judicial authorities in April 1997. GOA insisted that despite telling lies to authorities in Rwanda, his testimony to the ICTR was all true. Defence counsel for Kajelijeli, Lennox Hinds of the US, dwelt on contradictions between the confession to Rwandan prosecutors and GOA's testimony in court at the ICTR. "Everything therein is lies," GOA told the court, in reference to his confession statement in Rwanda. "There is no reason to waste time on that. "The witness is a self-confessed Interahamwe militiaman who told the court in July that he personally participated in the killings of more than 600 Tutsis on the orders of former mayor Kajelijeli in 1994. GOA pleaded guilty to genocide in Ruhengeri (northwest Rwanda) in 1997 and is in jail there, awaiting sentencing. The case is before the ICTR's Trial Chamber Two, composed of judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho and Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar. GG/JC/FH (KJ1126f)