Arusha, November 28, 2003 (FH) The prosecution team in the government Itrial involving four former senior government officials on Friday startedthe presentation of its witnesses at the International Criminal Tribunal forRwanda (ICTR)The four co-accused are the president of the former ruling party, theMRND, Matthieu Ngirumpatse, his vice president Edouard Karemera, theSecretary general, Joseph Nzirorera, as well as the former minister ofprimary and secondary education, André Rwamakuba. Karemera was also the minister of Interior in 1994 while Joseph Nzirorerawas the president of the interim national assembly.

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The prosecution team presented two investigators employed by the ICTR. Thewitnesses mainly showed maps, sketches and photos which they took in theareas where the accused allegedly participated in the genocide. The first witness, Mr. Upendra Singh Baghel from India, is an experiencedsecurity officer formerly involved in various UN missions. He showed thecourt important locations in Butare town such as the Butare UniversityHospital, roadblocks and major roads, and massacre sites in Gikomero commune(Kigali rural). One of the accused, André Rwamakuba, is from Gikomero. As a medical doctor,he practised at the Butare hospital. He is mainly charged for massacresperpetrated in these two communes. Another investigator, identified as Antonias Maria Lucassen from TheNetherlands, already testified at the ICTR in six trials, the last of thesebeing that of former mayor of Mukingo commune (Ruhengeri, northren Rwanda),Juvénal Kajelijeli. He told the court during chief examination by prosecutor Don Webster fromJamaica that he was familiar with Ruhungeri, Murambi and Gisenyiprefectures. His testimony enabled the prosecution to tender its documentsinto evidence. Mr. Lucassen said he prepared the binder of Ruhengeri containing maps,photos and sketches himself. The prosecutor accuses the genocide suspects for direct and publicincitement to commit genocide in Ruhengeri. Rwamakuba still hasn't appeared in courtAndré Rwamakuba was not present when all these documents were tendered. Forthe second consecutive day, he has been boycotting the trial, an is onlyrepresented by his two counsels. Rwamakuba maintains that his case is « manipulated » by the prosecutor. He was arrested in Namibia in December 1995, but released six months laterat the request of the first prosecutor of the ICTR, Richard Goldstone. Goldstone indicated he did not intend to indict him. He was howeverrearrested on October 21, 1998 and this time transferred to the ICTR. Herepeatedly asked for a separate trial, but his motion was dismissed. "He has become more and more affected by the procedure, the delay and theinjustice from the prosecutor », his British counsel, David Hooper,explained. André Rwamakuba is the second accused to boycott his trial at the ICTR. Before him, former political adviser at the ministry of Foreign Affaires andalleged founder of the hate radio RTLM, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, neverappeared in the media trial. The judgement in this case will be rendered onDecember 3. Counsel Hooper however explained that the case of his client is different,in so far as he does not contest the impartiality of the Tribunal, sayingthat Dr Rwamakuba is in conflict with the prosecutor, not with the chamberor the Tribunal. Presiding judge, Andrésia Va from Senegal, declared that "we will make ourlevel best to allow him to attend his trial, although we cannot of courseput any pressure on him to do so. "The four former leaders are each charged with seven counts of genocide,conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commitgenocide, and crimes against humanity (rape and extermination). The trial is in trial Chamber Three of the ICTR which is composed of judgeAndrésia Vaz, assisted by two ad litem (not permanent) judges, FlaviaLattanzi from Italy and Florence Rita Arrey from Cameroon. The next prosecution witness, identified as GBD, is set to start testifyingon Monday. SV/CE/FH (GovI1128e)