Arusha, October 30, 2003 (FH) – A convict serving a life sentence for his participation in the 1994 genocide on Thursday testified in favour of former Rwandan minister of finance Emmanuel Ndindabahizi before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Ndindabahizi, 53 is charged with three counts including genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination and murder).

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He allegedly perpetrated massacres of civilians in his native prefecture of Kibuye, western Rwanda. He is accused of organizing, inciting and supervising massacres, including making public calls for the killing of Tutsis in general and certain individuals in particular. The ninth defence witness confessed to genocide in 1998 in a Rwandan court where he was convicted and sentenced for life. The convict named DC to conceal his identity, recalled how he participated in various massacres of Tutsis at different locations within Kibuye prefecture. He testified that he was among a group of attackers which killed people at Kibuye Catholic Church and Gatwaro stadium on April 17th and 18th 1994. After the two attacks, DC stated that he and the group headed to Gitwa hill in Gitesi commune where they attacked Tutsis who had sought refuge there. ”I took part in the Gitwa massacre and I killed two people,” the witness said. Led in his chief evidence by Ndindabahizi's lead counsel Pascal Besnier, DC further testified that after the killings at Gitwa hill they once again moved to Bisesero where other Tutsis had sought refuge and they exterminated them before heading back to Kibuye town. The witness told the chamber he never saw Ndindabahizi during the attacks at Gitwa hill and Bisesero. ”I know that I never saw this man nor did I hear his name. During the Gacaca courts, his name was never mentioned,” DC declared. According to him, the accused also did not distribute any weapons. Several prosecution witnesses have testified that the suspect distributed weapons to attackers and led them in attacks at Gitwa and Bisesero. The trial continues on Friday with the evidence of another witness named DM. Ndindabahizi trial is before Trial Chamber One composed of Judge Erik Mose (Norway) presiding, assisted by judges Khalida Rachid Khan (Pakistan) and Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda). PJ/CE/FH (NB'1030e)