Arusha, February 27, 2003 (FH) - A man in a group of Tutsis who pleaded with former Butare prefect Sylvain Nsabimana to stop the killing of Tutsis who had sought refuge at the prefecture office in April 1994, was killed, the nineteenth prosecution witness told judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Thursday. The witness dubbed RE to shield her identity from public said the young man had gone to Nsabimana's office with other refugees to seek his assistance.

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"As soon as he left the office I saw a soldier take him away when he reached the courtyard. He was dragged by the soldier to an unknown destination", RE recounted. RE who has been testifying in the socalled "Butare trial" since Monday, was being crossquestioned by Nsabimana's lead counsel, Charles Tchakounte Patie, of Cameroon. The Butare trial groups former Minister for Family and Women's Affairs Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, former Butare prefects Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo and former mayors of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi and Muganza, Elie NdayambajeRE added that the soldiers outside the office also beat another woman who had accompanied the man to Nsabimana's office. "Do you know where the soldier and the young man ended up?" Tchakounte asked RE. "I don't know where they went. All I know is that the young man never came back and I concluded that he was taken away and killed," she answered. Asked how she had known about the meeting although she did not accompany the group, RE told the court that the woman who was assaulted informed her of the discussion between Nsabimana and the refugees. The witness also recalled that Nsabimana had been removed as prefect when the refugees were taken to Rango forest on a date she could not remember, on orders of Alphonse Nteziryayo, the military prefect. Nteziryayo took over from Nsabimana on June 17th 1994. "The military prefect said he did not want dirt (Tutsi refugees) under his administration and that they should leave for Rango," RE stated. When questioned by Nteziryayo's cocounsel, Richard Perras of Canada, if she personally heard Nteziryayo speak, RE stated that the prefect sent an Interahamwe called Kazungu (his bodyguard) to inform the refugees that they were to be relocated because they were dirt. The trial will continue on Friday morning to allow Kanyabashi's lead counsel Michel Marchand of Canada to cross examine RE. The Butare 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 (BT0227e)