Arusha, February 25, 2003 (FH) - The nineteenth prosecution witness in the socalled "Butare Trial" on Tuesday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that some sections of her statement had been misrepresented by the ICTR investigators in 1996 while being crossexamined by Guy Poupart, the cocounsel for former Minister for Family and Women's Affairs Pauline Nyiramasuhuko. The Butare trial groups 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 Ndayambaje.

1 min 29Approximate reading time

The witness told the chamber that she never mentioned in her statement to the investigators on December 5 1996 that Tutsis who had sought refuge at Butare Prefecture offices had been taken to Nyange. She said she only mentioned Nyaruhengeri. "Those are not my words, I think my statement was not properly recorded," RE said after the counsel read a section of her statement concerning the Tutsis. RE also admitted that some parts of her testimony to the chamber on Monday was not in her statement. But she told Nyiramasuhuko's cocounsel, " I am here to recount the events and state the truth. "One such instance was that she did not mention in her statement that the Interahamwe had refused to kill Tutsis who had been ferried to Nyaruhengeri from Butare Prefecture office to be executed. In her chief evidence on Monday, she told the chamber the Interahamwe said Nsabimana should do the killing himself because the graves were full. The refugees were then returned back to the prefecture offices. RE also stated that the investigators had indicated in her statement the wrong number of Tutsi refugees at Eglise Episcopale du Rwanda which was near the Butare prefecture offices. She had only told them the refugees were many without mentioning the exact number. The investigators wrote that she had told them the refugees were 4000. "It is rather the investigators who advanced the figure," she said, adding," I was only told to estimate the number and I remember saying that they were many without specifying". When Guy Poupart asked her in court on Tuesday the exact number of refugees, she said they were slightly more than 300. The crossquestioning of RE continues on Wednesday. The trial is before Trial Chamber II composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. PJ/CE/FH (BT0225e)