Arusha, December 4, 2003 (FH) – The fourth prosecution witness testified before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Thursday that former Rwandan Minister for Commerce Justin Mugenzi asked Hutus to kill all Tutsis including babies during the 1994 genocide. Mugenzi who was also the chairman of Liberal Party (PL) made the remarks when he was being interviewed by a journalist called Gaspard Gahigi at RTLM (the “hate radio”) in May 14th 1994.

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Mugenzi is jointly accused in this trial dubbed Government II with former minister of Health, Casimir Bizimungu, former minister of Foreign Affairs Jérôme Bicamumpaka, and former minister of Public Service Prosper Mugiraneza. They are charged with six counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. The witness, code-named FW to keep his identity secret, said he heard the broadcast while he was hiding. “Mugenzi said that to finish the matter once and for all we must kill all Tutsis. We should exterminate them all and the babies sucking their mothers,” FW stated. FW, a Tutsi survivor, added that the minister said Hutus had made a mistake in 1959 by sparing Tutsis and only chasing them out of the country. He told Tutsis the same mistake would not be repeated in 1994. “This time around, we are not going to send them away but kill them”. The prosecutor successfully sought the court's leave to play the audio tape containing several speeches so that the witness could identify Mugenzi's voice. But shortly before he did so, his lead counsel Howard Morrison (UK) told the court that his client had conceded that the witness would identify his voice. FW recalled that the suspect made another speech in Cyangugu and stated that people who were supporting Tutsis and RPF would be in serious trouble. He did not state when the minister made the remarks. FW was cross-examined by Morrison mainly on Mugenzi's interview at RTLM. Morrison accused the witness of exaggerating and inventing his oral testimony but the witness maintained that he had not added new evidence. “I do not see how you can convince me that I did not hear what Mugenzi said. Why should I tell lies? “FW argued. The defence attorney further challenged the witness that he never heard Mugenzi use the phrase “Tutsi babies who were sucking their mothers” to which the witness answered “those are the words Mugenzi said”. Morrison also drew contradictions in two statements given by the witness to ICTR investigators. In one of them, FW said that RTLM was directly telling Hutus to kill Tutsis and in another one he stated that it was indirectly calling on Hutus to kill Tutsis. The cross-examination of FW continues on Friday. The trial is before Trial Chamber Two where Judge Asoka de Zoyza Gunawardana (Sri Lanka) is presiding assisted by judges Lee Muthoga (Kenya) and Khalida Rashid Khan (Pakistan). PJ/CE/FH (GVII'1204e)