Arusha, March 31st, (FH) – A witness on Wednesday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that the former councillor of Gishyita sector (Gishita commune, Kibuye province) Mikaeli Muhimana, alias Mika, had raped her several times in his office during the 1994 genocide. The witness code-named “AX” to protect her identity, is a Hutu woman who was married to a Tutsi man with whom they had five children.

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She had earlier told the tribunal that a mob led by Mika had forced her to watch as four of her children were killed. She said that she also witnessed her husband being shot by the former councillor. “The first time Mika sent for me, I found him in his office. He immediately roughly tore off my clothes and raped me on the rough cement floor”, said AX, who revealed that the accused raped her on several occasions. “I felt so humiliated. I had lost my family, now I was losing my dignity. It was as if I was being killed twice”, stated the witness, who at one time broke down, recalling what had befallen her. Muhimana's indictment not only states many allegations of rape brought against him, but he is also accused of having personally taken part in brutal massacres. AX informed the court that after killing his neighbour, Assiel Kabanda, the accused had brought back his head and pinned it on the dead man's house saying “my neighbour has come back”. Kabanda had fled but had been captured and killed at Bisesero hills. The witness also narrated to the court how Charles, a former Tutsi communal policeman, had been captured by the accused and brought back to Gishyita sector. “They cut off his private parts (genitals) and paraded them around the village on the tip of a spear”, she stated. Defence counsel had earlier finished cross examining the second witness code-named AP. She had claimed that she had witnessed the accused rape and then order the death of two young girls. Mika Muhimana, 54, is accused of four counts: genocide or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity (rape and murder). He has pleaded not guilty. The trial taking place in Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR composed of Judge Khalida Rashid Khan of Pakistan (presiding), Lee Gaciuga Muthoga of Kenya and Emile Francis Short from GhanaKN/CE/FH(MH''0331e)