Arusha, March 12, 2003 (FH) - Contradictions in the evidence ofprosecution witnesses between their oral and written statements, onWednesday continued to dominate the socalled Butare trial at theInternational Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The trial groups six genocide suspects from Butare prefecture, South EastRwanda.

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After completing her examination in chief, the twenty first prosecutionwitness, a Tutsi woman dubbed FAP, was crossexamined by Nicole Bergevin ofCanada. The lead counsel for Pauline Nyiramasuhuko's, former Minister ofFamily and Women Affairs, pointed out several contradicting points. Counsel Bergevin compared FAP's oral and written statement made on May 6,1999 to the ICTR investigators. Similar comparisons and contradictions werepreviously pointed out, by counsel Bergevin and other defence counsels,during crossexamination of two other prosecution witnesses identified onlyas RE and SS. "It would be incorrect to say that I was not escorted by soldiers because asTutsis we had no identity cards and we could not move around without escortthat time," FAP said in response to a question asked by Bergevin who wantedto know why in her written statement the witness did not mention this point. She elaborated further that "maybe those who took down my statement did notrecord it properly". Other contradicting points which were not in the written statement include,the visit of President Theodore Sindikubwabo at the Nyakibanda Majorseminary where the accused and other Tutsis sought refuge, the statementmade by one Interahamwe militiaman to the witness after the attack at theseminary that he would not kill her as she would die of smell, hunger andthirst and that there were only 15 refugees at the Butare universityteaching hospital who were later on evacuated to the prefecture office. During her examination in chief the witness mentioned four other accusedpersons including the son of Minister Nyiramasuhuko, Arsene ShalomNtahobali, two former Prefects of Butare, Alphonse Nteziryayo and SylvainNsabimana and former Mayor of Ngoma, Joseph Kanyabashi. The sixth accused,former Mayor of Muganza commune, Elie Ndayambaje was not mentioned by thiswitness. The trial continues on Thursday before Trial Chamber II, presided over byTanzanian Judge William Sekule, assisted by Judges Arlette Ramaroson ofMadagascar and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. NI/CE/FH (BU'0312e)