Arusha, October 30, 2001 (FH) - Militias working under Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana during the 1994 genocide said he told them "God had ordered that Tutsis should be killed and exterminated", a prosecution witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. Elizaphan Ntakirutimana is being jointly tried with his son Gerald Ntakirutimana.

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At the time of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Elizaphan was pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist church at Mugonero in Kibuye. Gerald was a medical doctor at the infirmary which lay in the same complex. The two are charged with five counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during the 1994 genocide. Witness "SS", named as such to protect his identity, claimed that the militias quoted the Pastor's words as they pursued him (the witness) in Kibuye prefecture, western Rwanda. SS said that he had sighted the Pastor in this gang of militias. He said he had managed to escape from the militias. SS also told the court that in April 1994, Doctor Gerald Ntakirutimana had tried to kill him. "He shot at me as I was fleeing the attack at Mugonero complex," SS told the court, "but I managed to disappear into the bushes. "Witness SS told the court that he was a survivor of the genocide. He is the 14th and last factual witness for the prosecution. An expert witness, Canadian journalist Hugh McCullum, is expected to start testifying on Wednesday before the prosecution wraps up its case. The case is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of judges Erik Mose of Norway (presiding), Navanethem Pillay of South Africa and Andrésia Vaz of Senegal. GG/JC/PHD/FH (NK1030f)