Arusha, February 11, 2003 (FH) - Former prefect of the south west Rwanda prefecture of Cyangugu, Emmanuel Bagambiki had no role in the 1992 killings of over 250 ethnic Tutsis in the south Rwanda region of Bugesera (Kigalirural prefecture), a defence witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. Bagambiki, 54, is accused of being one of the planners and leaders of the genocide in his home province of Cyangugu.

1 min 14Approximate reading time

The prosecution accuses him of attending and participating in meetings organising and coordinating killings of ethnic Tutsis through out the1994 genocide. Bagambiki is also accused of responsibility in the 1992 Bugesera killings when he was prefect of Kigalirural. “The name of Bagambiki was never mentioned by any of the human rights organisations that investigated the killings”, protected witness ‘FOE' said. ‘FOE' was an official in the ministry of planning. He also held a position in the Cyangugu office of the opposition party, MDR. Following the Bugesera killings, the MDR office in Cyangugu issued a statement which accused Bagambiki of responsibility in the killings. Asked about that statement, ‘FOE' said that it was a baseless propaganda statement at a time of “interparty rivalry”. He said that the statement was meant to tarnish the image of the then ruling party, MRND, to which Bagambiki belonged. Prosecutor Richard Karegyesa of Uganda suggested that Bagambiki was responsible by virtue of the responsibility of his subordinates implicated in the killings. Bagambiki is jointly on trial with two former leaders from Cyangugu. They are; former minister of transport and telecommunications, Andre Ntagerura and former commander of the Cyangugu military camp, Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe. The court also heard protected witness ‘EOT'. Part of his testimony was held in closed session. The trial adjourned until Thursday. Wednesday is a public holiday in Tanzania. The trial is before Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR composed of judges Lloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. GG/CE/FH(CY0211e)