Arusha, November, 11th, 2002 (FH) - Genocide suspect and former Rwandan minister of Information, Eliezér Niyitegeka, will testify in his trial, his defence counsel told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday. Feargal Kavanag of Ireland told court that the defence would be presenting two or three more witnesses before putting the accused on the stand.

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Eight out of some ten defence witnesses have so far been called. Niyitegeka,50, is on trial for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in connection with killings in the Bisesero hills in the West Rwanda region of Kibuye. He was minister of information in the "government of salvation" that reigned over the period of the genocide. About One million ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed in the 1994 genocide according to an official census by the government of Rwanda. The court on Monday also heard the eighth prosecution witness only identified as "TEN 10" to protect his identity from the public. TEN 10, said he had been an employee in a key ministry in 1994. TEN 10 told court that during the entire period for which Niyitegeka is accused of killings in Kibuye province, save for two official missions, the accused had been at government headquarters in Murambi(Gitarama povince) and later in Muramba(Gisenyi). The witness said that his office in Murambi was close to Niyitegeka's and had as such seen him on every working day. The witness told court that the government had no control over the population in 1994. "There was nothing like a real government authority. Everyone did as they pleased and nobody could put an end to this situation", he said. He said that the government lacked both material and human resources to exercise its duties. During cross-examination, prosecutor Ken Fleming of Australia contested the witness' knowledge of what was happening in the government. Fleming argued to the effect that TEN 10 held a low position that couldn't have given him access to knowledge of the internal working of the government. The trial will continue on Tuesday before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR comprising Judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Andresia Vaz of Senegal. GG/FH (NI-1111e)