Arusha, October 17th, 2002 (FH) - A Tutsi refugee was killed on orders of the bodyguard of a former Butare Prefect and genocide suspect, Sylvain Nsabimana, for speaking to Europeans who had visited refugees camping at the Butare prefecture office, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Thursday. The 15th prosecution witness named "SU" , testifying for the fourth day in the so-called Butare trial, said that Nsabimana's guard chained the man she only knew as Donat and took him to the backyard of the office where he was killed during the day.

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She said that Donat, who understood French, spoke to some Europeans who had visited the refugees and interviewed them about their welfare. She however did not state who the visitors were and where they were from. Nsabimana is in a joint trial with former Minister for Family Affairs and Gender Issues Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, former Butare Prefect, Alphonse Nteziryayo, and former mayors of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi, and Muganza, Elie Ndayambaje. The six are accused of genocide crimes in Butare Province (South Rwanda) and are being tried at Trial Chamber II of ICTR. SU, on cross-examination by Nyiramasuhuko's lead counsel Canadian Nicole Bergevin for the third day, said the man was speaking to the European visitors in French but Nsibamana's bodyguard chased him away and tore his bible. A few days later, the bodyguard led him behind the office and handed him to the Interahamwe who killed him. " I do not know the weapon used to kill him but I know he was killed. " She described Donat as a well-known man who was a choir member of Ngoma Church Parish adding that his body was thrown in one of the pits. The witness who had been injured and buried alive was staying with other refugees at the Butare Prefecture offices from May 28th 1994. She stated that the Europeans, among them a photographer took pictures of Nsabimana with the refugees. Nicole Bergevin complained that the witness had introduced additional evidence orally in court, about the incident on the Europeans visiting the refugees, that did not appear in her written statement. But Judge William Sekule presiding told Nicole Bergevin that the court would determine that issue later. He said written statements are only used to test the credibility and veracity of a witness. The witness continues with cross-questioning on Monday. This trial is before ICTR's Trial Chamber Two, composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchil Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. PJ/FH (BT-1017e)