Arusha, February 12, 2002 (FH) - Genocide suspect and medical doctor Gerald Ntakirutimana did not at any time discriminate against Tutsi patients and refugees that were at Mugonero hospital during the 1994 genocide, a defence witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. The prosecution has accused Doctor Ntakirutimana of discriminating against Tutsi patients and refugees, and later bringing militias to kill them.

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Gerald Ntakirutimana is on joint trial with his father, Seventh Day Adventist pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana. At the time of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Elizaphan was pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist church at Mugonero in Kibuye, western Rwanda. Gerald was a medical doctor at the infirmary which lay in the same complex. The two are charged with five counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Asked by Gerald's lawyer whether she had ever seen or heard Gerald discriminate against Tutsi patients or refugees, the protected witness replied: " No. I never saw such a thing. "I never heard anyone mention such a thing. " Gerald Ntakirutimana is defended by David Jacobs of the US. The witness is dubbed simply Witness Number Seven, to protect her identity. Prosecution witnesses have testified that during the days leading up to April 16, 2002, Hutu patients at Mugonero hospital were all discharged whereas Tutsi patients were forced to stay at the hospital and were later killed. Prosecution witnesses have also testified that despite having all necessary equipment, Gerald refused to treat Tutsi refugees fleeing from militia attacks in the Mugonero area. Witness Number Seven told the court that Gerald had, before fleeing the war, continued treating all patients at the hospital, regardless of their ethnicity. She is the fifth defence witness in this trial. The case is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of judges Erik Mose of Norway (presiding), Navanethem Pillay of South Africa and Andrésia Vaz of Senegal. GG/JC/FH(NK-0212e)