Arusha, March 24, 2004 (FH) – A prosecution witness in the so-called Government II trial on Wednesday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that former Minister of Public Service and one of the accused in the case, Prosper Mugiraneza, visited Tutsi refugees in Kigarama Communal office in April 1994 but did not offer them any help. Government II trial groups together former ministers of Health, Casimir Bizimungu, of Foreign Affairs Jérôme Bicamumpaka, of Commerce, Justin Mugenzi and Prosper Mugiraneza.

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The twenty-eight prosecution witness dubbed GKS to conceal her identity was among several Tutsis who had sought refuge at Kigarama Communal office in Kibungo Prefecture on the morning of April 7th 1994. On that day, the minister, in the company of the mayor, Emmanuel Mugiraneza (not related to the minister), and the former the head of gendarmerie Pierre-Celestin Rwagafilita, visited the refugees. “We all went to meet him (Prosper Mugiraneza) believing he could do something,” GKS said. She added that the refugees hoped that the minister could help them as there was no water and no food at the communal office. “We were hoping he could offer some help but he never provided any help whatsoever,” the witness indicated. The minister and the other government officials accompanying him held a brief meeting then left. The witness however did not hear what was discussed during the meeting. GKS continued that as soon as the three left, a grenade was thrown into the crowd by a man called Muhinda causing the death of eight people. She also testified that her husband, who was working at the communal office, was disarmed on orders of the minister and killed on April 11th 1994. The minister said it was dangerous for a Tutsi to carry a gun. The witness will continue with her evidence in chief on Thursday. Government II Trial is before Trial Chamber Two where Judge Asoka de Zoyza Gunawardana (Sri Lanka) is presiding assisted by judges Lee Muthoga (Kenya) and Khalida Rachid Khan (Pakistan)PJ/CE/FH (GVII''0324e)