Arusha, March 23, 2004 (FH) – The twenty-seventh prosecution witness on Tuesday testified before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that a political rally for the MRND party was held in Kibungo prefecture to sensitize members of the population on the massacres of Tutsis. The witness identified only as GJW told the trial chamber that the rally was held at a football field in Kibungo in 1992.

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GJW is a prosecution witness in the so-called Government Two trial which involves former ministers of Health, Casimir Bizimungu, of Foreign Affairs Jérôme Bicamumpaka, of Commerce, Justin Mugenzi and of Public Service Prosper Mugiraneza. They each face six counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. The witness who was being cross-examined by Mugiraneza's lead counsel, Tom Moran (USA), stated that Mugarineza presided over the rally but did not give a speech. Mugarineza, the witness added, was in charge of the MRND in Kibungo. Moran asked the witness whether he knew that the rally had been held to recruit more members to the MRND party. GJW disagreed with the counsel's view and answered: ” the reason for the rally was not to recruit new members but to sensitize members to the new activities, especially the genocide and massacres”. The witness continued that the gathering which comprised members of the MRND and CDR parties, said that they wanted to exterminate all the Tutsis and leave none to tell the story. GJW said that several political rallies were held in Kibungo by the MRND but he could not remember the number. He only stated that they were more than five, when Moran insisted that he should give a figure. The trial continues on Wednesday with the cross-examination of GJW. 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''0323e)