Arusha, October 22, 2001 (FH) - Genocide suspect and Seventh Day Adventist pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son Gerald Ntakirutimana led a militia attack on Tutsi refugees during the 1994 genocide, a witness told judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday. Protected witness 'XX' said that the attack took place in mid-May 1994 in Bisesero hills in the west Rwandan province of Kibuye.

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"Many many many (sic) people were killed on this day," XX told the court before she broke down in tears. "I came across rivers of blood flowing down the hills. "Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana is being jointly tried with his son Gerald Ntakirutimana. 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. XX, a Tutsi woman, told the court that she was a survivor of the attack in Bisesero hills. She is a former employee of the Mugonero infirmary. Gerald's defence counsel Edward Medvene of the US contested XX's testimony, saying that she had not mentioned anything about Bisesero hills in her first statement to prosecution investigators in 1995. XX said that she could have forgotten to mention the Bisesero events to the investigators at that time, due to mental complications she was suffering at the time. She said the complications were a result of the genocide. Witness XX's testimony began on Friday but the court adjourned shortly after opening as XX said she wasn't feeling well. 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 (NK1022E)