Arusha, April 3, 2003 (FH) - The “Cyangugu trial”, on Thursday adjourned after the prosecutor finished crossexamining one of the suspects Emmanuel Bagambiki, the former prefect of Cyangugu at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, (ICTR). Prosecuting counsel, Richard Karegyesa of Uganda said he may file a motion for a rebuttal, seeking to call more witnesses to refute the defence case.

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The Chamber immediately went into a status conference in order to chart the next move. Bagambiki has been testifying as the twentyfifth and last defence witness. The Cyangugu case groups together three personalities accused of being the architects of the genocide in Cyangugu prefecture (SouthWest Rwanda) in 1994. The other two are former commander of Karambo military camp in Cyangugu, Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe and the exMinister for Transport and communication, André Ntagerura. During his cross examination, Karegyesa accused Bagambiki of issuing a false communiqué on radio Bukavu based just across the border in the former Zaire. The communiqué which was aired on April 30, 1994, purportedly denied that there had been any killings at Kamarampaka stadium. The English transcription of the statement explained that the shootings heard on the night of April 28th 1994, had been the result of gendarmes shooting to repulse looters who were targeting the property of people who had taken refuge at the stadium. It described the refugees as being “protected from the people's anger'. Karegyesa said Bagambiki's motive for denying the occurrence of massacres at the stadium was an attempt to curtail the intervention by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) officials he was scheduled to meet on the 2nd of May that year. The ICRC in neighbouring Bukavu had been supplying food and medicine to the refugees. The genocide suspect negated the accusation by saying, “If radio [RPF owned] Muhabura, which I didn't listen to, said massacres took place when they did not, then I had the responsibility of telling the people and the international community the truth”. “I am putting it to you, that you caused the massacre and murder of 17 people from Kamarampaka stadium because they were Tutsis”, Karegyesa told Bagambiki who answered that he had done everything possible to restore order and stop massacres. “I had nothing against those people”, he added. The prosecuting counsel also accused the former prefect of Cyangugu along with one of the coaccused in the trial, Imanishimwe, of being directly involved in the attack. The suspect denied the allegation. The trial is before Trial Chamber Three, presided over by Judge George Lloyd Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis, assisted by Judges Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SV/KN/FH (CY'0304E)