Arusha, March 11, 2003(FH) - A witness in defence of Emmanuel Bagambiki, the former prefect of Cyangugu (SouthWest Rwanda), told the International Criminal tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday that the prefect did everything he could to save lives during the genocide. In the Cyangugu trial, Bagambiki is jointly accused with former commander of Karambo military camp Samuel Imanishimwe and exMinister for Transport and communication, Andre Ntegerura.

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They are accused of being the architects of the genocide in Cyangugu prefecture. The witness, identified as FLZ to protect his identity, told the court during chief examination by Bagambiki's lead defense counsel, Mr. Vincent Lurquin of Belgium, that the former prefect saved Tutsi refugees who had sought refuge at his school, from being killed by assailants more than three times. On one occasion, on 11th April 1994, FLZ said “I contacted the prefect when attackers wanted to take the refugees and kill them. The prefect arrived within ten to fifteen minutes with gendarmes and spoke to them”. In that incident, FLZ said the prefect had a verbal exchange with the attackers who were cutting him off and swearing at him. The witness added that Bagambiki sent the attackers away by telling them, “It is not up to you to take justice in your hands. If there is a problem tell the prosecutor who will make justice”The witness also said that during a meeting attended by heads of services, church authorities, military leaders and "bourgmestres" (mayors), Bagambiki complained that people were operating “behind his back” by distributing weapons and matches to burn neighbours houses. Acording to him, Bagambiki complained that “he did not enjoy full authority and that political parties had succeeded in setting the population against the authority. ”After FLZ, the twentieth defence witness, JNQ, told counsel Lurquin during chiefexamination that “there was disobedience by the population towards the authorities in 1994”. JNQ also said prefectoral authorities helped by the members of the parish immediately provided support in sensitisation meetings to remove fear among the arrested people. JNQ also told the court that, “despite the fact that calm had been restored in Cyangugu until the 6th of April, prefectoral authorities could not stop the massacres. Nobody could stop them except the perpetrators themselves”. The first defense witness to testify on Tuesday, identified as TSF, testified entirely in closed session. The case 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/CE/FH (CY1103e)