Arusha, May 5, 2003, (FH) - A former military officer testified in defence of former Rwandan Minister for Higher Education Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda on Monday, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The thirtyfourth defence witness named RKF to protect his identity was a major and also a lawyer.

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He was moreover a member of the committee in charge of implementing the Arusha peace accord. The testimony of RKF was mainly about the fight between RPF troops and the government forces within Kigali and its environs during the genocide. Led in his chief evidence by Kamuhanda's lead counsel Aicha Conde of Guinea, the witness told the court that four major roads leaving Kigali had been captured by RPF troops and could not be used by the government soldiers and civilians in April 1994. RKF said it was not possible for Kamuhanda, who was residing in Kigali during the month of April to travel to Gikomero, his native commune, through the Byomba route. " One could not go down that road (Byomba). It would have been hazardous for a civilian to attempt that, we tried to repulse the RPF troops but we could not," the witness stated. Asked by Conde if a person was able to drive from Kigali to Gikomero, the witness said the routes leading to Gikomero were impassable. The prosecution accuses Kamuhanda of leading attacks on Tutsis who had sought refuge in Gikomero commune in April 1994 but the prosecution maintains that it was not possible for him to travel to Gikomero during thatperiod. Other several defence witnesses told the chamber in their testimonies last year that it was not possible for Kamuhanda to travel to Gikomero on April 12th, 1994. The prosecution attorney Marks Moore of Ireland told the witness he had not said the truth about what he discussed with Kamuhanda's defence team before he accepted to come and testify. The prosecutor had asked the witness if the defence team mentioned to him about positions and sites which Conde had asked him in court but the witness insisted he was never told about Gikomero and other routes leading there when he first met Kamuhanda's defence team. "I suggest that is certainly incredible and most untrue. For someone to give evidence you have to know about the routes," Moore told RKF. The trial continues on Tuesday with the testimony of another protected witness dubbed VPM. The trial is before Trial Chamber II composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho)PJ/CE/FH (KH'0505e)