Arusha, April 20, 2004 (FH)- A prosecution witness in the trial of four senior officers of the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR) being heard at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Tuesday said that the former director of Cabinet in the Rwandan Ministry of Defense, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora "insulted a Major Jabo who refused to comply with the order to kill Tutsis in Kibuye (western Rwanda) ". The witness also alleged that Bagosora spat in the Major's face.

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The witness referred to as "KJ" to protect his identity, is a former gendarme and is the 56th witness to be called by the prosecution. He was being cross-examined about issues he had raised during his examination in chief. He said the incident happened in Kigali at the Ministry of Defense when he had escorted the Major to collect supplies for the gendarmerie camp in Kibuye. "He had to go to the Ministry of Defense for authorization before he was given the ammunition", narrated the witness. It was there that Major Jabo met Colonel Bagosora, alleged the witness. KJ had earlier testified that Major Jabo was against the killing of Tutsis in Kibuye. "He had problems with his seniors" said the witness. He added that on the way back to Kibuye, the Major ferried a Tutsi woman and had refused to obey orders at roadblocks to leave her behind. "Afterwards I saw on the notice board that he had been transferred to the war front in Gisozi (Kigali) to head two platoons". The witness alleged that Major Jabo was sent to the front to die. Earlier the witness told the court that there was a national effort to exterminate Tutsis who were resisting in Bisesero, Kibuye. An estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during the 100 days that followed April 6th1994. Colonel Theoneste Bagosora is co-accused with the former head of military operations of the army, General Gratien Kabiligi, the former army commander of Gisenyi region, Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, former commander of Kanombe Para-military battalion based in Kigali. All four have pleaded not guilty to charges of, among others, genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The so-called "Military I" trial started on April, 2, 2002. The prosecutor expects to call at least 10 more witnesses to testify. The trial is being heard in Trial Chamber One of the ICTR composed of Judge Erik Møse from Norway, Judge Serguei Aleckseievich Egorov from Russia, and Judge Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji. SV/KN/JA/FH (ML''0420e)