Arusha, April 2, 2003 (FH) - A former member of the Rwandan Armed Forces(FAR) on Wednesday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda(ICTR) that they were no movements of civilian vehicles in Mukingo commune,North West, Rwanda between April 6 and 10th, 1994. The officer, only identified as FMB to protect his identity, was testifyingin the defence of genocide suspect and former Mayor of Mukingo commune,Juvenal Kajelijeli.

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According to some prosecution witness, the accused wasseen going around the commune with his vehicle, organizing and leadingattacks against the Tutsis immediately after April 6. The witness explained that after the death of the former Rwandan President,Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, security measures were stepped up androadblocks were strengthened in terms of weapons and the number of soldierswho manned them. He said civilians were requested to get a special pass to get through theroadblocks but no civilian had asked for such a document between April 6 and10th, 1994. He said only military vehicles were seen patrolling along themain road in the commune as the whole country was in grief for the death ofthe head of state. The witness who was seemingly one of the former senior FAR officers, askedfor a closed session in order to answer a question asked by Professor LennoxHinds of United States, lead counsel for Kajelijeli who wanted him toexplain how he got feedback on what took place at different roadblocks inthe commune. The trial chamber granted his request. Most of his evidence was heard in camera as there were several closedsessions in the morning and afternoon. The twentysixth defense witness isexpected to continue with his evidence on Thursday. Prior to the testimony of witness FMB, the chamber had admitted two motionsfiled by the prosecution contesting the defence intention to admit ProfessorFrançois Xavier Bangamwabo, a linguist, to testify as an expert witness forKajelijeli. The chamber expects to give a ruling on the motions soon. The case is before Trial Chamber Two, composed of Tanzanian Judge WilliamSekule (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston ChurchillMatanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. NI/CE/FH (ME'0402e)