Arusha, January 22 , 2003 (FH) - The former Commander of Karambo military camp in Cyangugu prefecture (South West Rwanda), Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe alleged in court on Wednesday that a group of four soldiers in his camp plotted to assassinate him a few days after the death of President Habyarimana. Imanishimwe is testifying on his own defence for genocide charges.

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He told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that when the plot was discovered the four soldiers were arrested and detained in Cyangugu prison though one of them managed to escape later. He said two of them were Hutus and the other two were Tutsis. The prosecution alleges that he ordered the arrest and killing of 10 soldiers in his camp, and that those arrested were all Tutsis, the target of massacres. Elaborating on the event, the accused said that he was compelled to take action because similar incidents took place in other camps where an officer and a soldier were killed by fellow soldier. Imanishimwe said he did not want to take chance with his life. He claimed that the arrest was done after consulting the army headquarters in Kigali. Imanishimwe denied several other allegations against him including the arrest, torture and killing of Tutsi refugees and some soldiers inside and outside Karambo camp. He also denied being present at massacre sites such as Gatandara, Bugarama, Nyarushishi and Gashirabobwa and Kamarampaka stadiums. He described testimonies given by some prosecution witnesses as " false, fabricated and made up stories against him. "The defence has finished examining Imanishimwe and the prosecution is expected to begin crossexamination on Thursday. The accused is jointly charged with two other senior government officials including the former Prefect of Cyangugu, Emmanuel Bagambiki and the former Transport and Communication Minister in the interim government, André Ntagerura. The case is before Trial Chamber Three presided over by Judge George Lloyd Williams from St. Kitts and Nevis, Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. NI/CE/FH (CY0122e)