Arusha,, January 13, 2003 (FH) - The trial of former Rwandan Minister for Higher Education Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda resumed on Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda with the testimony of the eighth defence witness. The defence witness, Augustin Karera, was an adviser in the Ministry of Higher Education when the acused was minister.

1 min 10Approximate reading time

He testified that Kamuhanda was not an adviser to the Rwandan president contrary to allegations by the prosecution. He agreed that Kamuhanda was a member of the MRND party adding that Kamuhanda's association with the MRND party did not play any role in his elevation to the Minister for Higher Education in May 1994. Kamuhanda, to him, deserved the appointment because he had served in the ministry for ten years and hailed from Kigali prefecture, which was not well represented in the government. He also denied allegations by the prosecutor David Moore of Ireland that he was responsible for carrying gendarmes and supervision of the massacres of Tutsis at Kibeho location during the 1994 genocide. Karera was an investigator in Kamuhanda's defence team but the Registrar of the ICTR terminated his contract on July 16th 2001 because his name appeared in the category of genocide suspects by the Rwandan government. Karera however maintained during his testimony that the government had since cleared him. Kamuhanda is charged with eight counts including genocide, complicity in genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape and murder. These crimes were allegedly committed in his native Gikomero commune (Kigali province, central Rwanda). In the afternoon, another prosecution witness GEK was recalled to testify in closed session and state the exact dates when she saw Kamuhanda at Gikomero. Kamuhanda's attorneys are Aicha Conde of Guinea and Patricia Mongo of Congo. Trial Chamber II is composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) Winston Churchhill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho). PJ/CE/FH (KH0113e)