Arusha, November 21st, 2002 (FH) - Genocide suspect and former mayor of Mukingi commune (north west Rwanda) didn't participate in the April 7th, 1994 massacres of ethnic Tutsis at Busogo parish as alleged by the prosecution, a defence witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. "I was there.

1 min 2Approximate reading time

I never saw him at that place", protected witness 'RHU 25' told court. Busogo parish is in Mukingi in the north west Rwanda province of Ruhengeri. Kajelijeli is accused of leading Hutu militias to kill Tutsis taking refuge at the parish complex during the 1994 genocide. RHU 25 is in detention in Rwanda on charges of genocide. Under cross-examination by prosecutor Ken Fleming of Australia, RHU 25 conceded that he had not remained at the parish during the entire duration of the killings. "After the attack began, I ran away from the parish. I was afraid", he said. Fleming suggested that the witness wouldn't have known if Kajelijeli came to the parish after his (the witness’s) departure. However RHU 25, said that none of his fellow detainees had mentioned Kajelijeli as having taken part in the killings. Kajelijeli, 50, has pleaded not guilty to eleven counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. The prosecution maintains that he instigated, planned and participated in the killing of ethnic Tutsis in Mukingo and adjoining communes in 1994. RHU 25s testimony started on Wednesday and most of it was held in closed session. He is the seventh defence witness. The trial will continue on Monday before Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho). GG/CE/FH(KJ-1121e)