Arusha, September 2, 2003 (FH) –A witness in the trial of former Rwandan Minister for Finance Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday that the interim government of Rwanda formed in April1994 was composed of extremist cabinet ministers. The second witness named GKH to protect his identity said the cabinet ministers in the interim government were only from the Hutu ethnic community and that there was no Tutsi minister.

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GKH, who was being cross-examined by Ndindabahizi's defence counsel Pascal Besnier of France, added that the political parties who were represented within the government were the MRND (dominant party at the time of the genocide), the PSD (Social Democratic Party) and the PL (Liberal Party)He stated that the opposition parties in Rwanda were moderate until the birth of the Hutu power in 1993 which affected Rwandese politics. The Social democratic Party, which he belonged to, was not spared and it split into moderate and extreme wings. The witness recalled that before the ideology of Hutu power, the PSD was a party whose objective was to promote social progress. “It was opposed to any kind of discrimination,” he added. According to the prosecution, Hutu power was a coalition of parties against the Tutsi ethnic group. It was established during a meeting in Gitarama on October 23, 1993. The second vice-president of MDR, Froduald Karamira in that meeting called on Hutus to stand up and take action against the enemy. GKH said Ndindabahizi was a member of PSD and would attend the party's meetings regularly at Kibuye although he was mainly based in Kigali. Ndindabahizi, 53, is charged with three counts including genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination and murder). He allegedly perpetrated massacres of civilians in his home 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 cross-examination of GKH was mainly done in closed session, just like the examination in chief of the third prosecution witness who followed him at the stand. The trial continues on Wednesday. Ndindabahizi's trial, which alternates with the Military I trial, is before Trial Chamber One is presided by Judge Erik Mose (Norway) assisted by Judge Khalida Rachid (Pakistan) and Solomy Bossa Balungi (Uganda). PJ/CE/FH (NB'0902e)