Arusha, June 4, 2002 (FH) - The twelfth prosecution witness in the trial of six individuals accused of genocide crimes in Butare (south of Rwanda) on Tuesday continued testimony with cross-questioning by the defence, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The witness known only as "SJ" for protection of identity is a genocide survivor who had sought refuge in the Butare province in April 1994.

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SJ was cross-questioned by the defence for former Minister for Family Affairs and Gender Issues Pauline Nyiramasuhuko one of the accused in the 'Butare Trial'. In her earlier testimony witness SJ said that Nyiramasuhuko treated Tutsi refugees like dirt. . SJ said the refugees were at the office of the prefect in April 1994. The Butare trial groups Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, former Butare prefects Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo and former mayors of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi and Muganza, Elie Ndayambaje. The witness said there was an estimated five thousand Tutsi refugees where she sought shelter. SJ said Nyiramasuhuko went to the office of the prefect and on exit said that there was dirt in the provincial office. According to SJ Nyiramasuhuko allegedly said the dirt needed to be swept off and that on her return she did not want to find the dirt still there. There was no other dirt other than Tutsis refugees and she wanted the refugees moved from the front yard at the provincial offices, said SJ. At the proposal of Nyiramasuhuko, the Butare prefect Sylvain Nsabimana ordered militia and military men to take the refugees from the front yard of the provincial offices to the back and not to allow them to return, SJ told the court. The witnesses added that the refugees had nothing to eat or drink and that a good number of them died. During cross-questioning, Nyiramasuhuko's defence maintained there were differences between the witness's written statement and her oral testimony in court. Part of the proceedings, were held in camera. SJ was cross-examined by Nyiramasuhuko's co-counsel Canadian, Guy Poupart. Witness SJ is expected to continue with her testimony on Wednesday morning before ICTR's Trial Chamber Two, composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho). The trial started on June 13, 2001. BN/SW/FH (BT-0604e)