Arusha, September 12, 2002 (FH) - The wife of former Minister for Higher Education and genocide suspect Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, consolidated on Monday and Tuesday, alibi in defence of her husband before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Théopiste Ingabire catalogued her husband's daily activities, from April 7th, 1994 the morning after a plane crash killed former President Juvénal Habyarimana, an event that plunged the country into bloodshed shortly thereafter.

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Ingabire, in her chief evidence confirmed her husband's testimony before the Tribunal that he stayed in Kigali between April 7th and 18th, 1994. The prosecution maintains that contrary to this affirmation, the accused supervised and took part in massacres of Tutsis on April 12th, in his native commune of Gikomero (Kigali rural province, central Rwanda). The sixth defence witness for the ex-minister, Ingabire did not testify as a protected witness as the four previous witnesses did. Their testimonies were heard mainly in camera. Ingabire asked that protective measures be waived and her testimony has been mainly in open session. Generally, her testimony is similar to that of the other defence witnesses who reinforced Kamuhanda's defence alibi. The witness stressed, "(. . )my husband was never in Gikomero during the events. " She told the court, she found it ridiculous that he had been accused of having perpetrated massacres in Gikomero on April 12th. Ingabire, like some of the other witnesses before her, explained that it was impossible to go to Gikomero from their area because at the time, fighting between the RPF and the Rwandan Armed Forces was wreaking havoc on the two routes from which they could access Gikomero. Counsel Aicha Conde of Guinea and Patricia Mongo of Congo Brazzaville represent Kamuhanda. The prosecutor, Mark Moore of Ireland attempted to draw contradictions from the witnesses' testimonies, stressing that they were inventing an alibi to save their friend. He cross-questioned Ingabire, who completed her testimony on Wednesday afternoon. The trial is before ICTR's Trial Chamber Two composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchill Mantanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. BN/SW/FH (KH-0911e)