Arusha, March 22, 2004 (FH) – A prosecution witness in the trial of four former Rwandan ministers on Monday told the International Criminal Tribunalfor Rwanda that he refused to follow the ideology of former minister for Public Service, Prosper Mugiraneza and one of the accused in the case, to have Tutsis killed. Mugiraneza is jointly accused with the former ministers of Foreign Affairs Jerome Bicamumpaka, of Health Casimir Bizimungu, and of Commerce Justin Mugenzi.

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The twenty-seventh witness code-named GJW to keep his identity secret, claimed that his refusal to agree with Mugarineza's idea led to a strained relationship between him and the former minister between 1991 and 1992. The witness explained that they had been friends for a long time, but they differed due to political reasons. “The political difference between me and Mugiraneza is that he wanted me to follow the ideology of killing Tutsis but I was against it,” GJW stated. GJW told the court he was a member of the moderate faction of the MDR while Mugiraneza was in MRND. Mugiraneza was in charge of the MRND party in Kibungo prefecture, according to the witness. The minister traveled to Kibungo frequently to hold MRND rallies, he added. The witness also recalled how the Interahamwe attacked his home in January 1993 but he managed to escape safely with his family . The attackers, he said, were armed with rifles and grenades and some were known to him. GJW indicated as the reason for the attack his refusal to join the MRND and to share its ideology. Judge Khalida Rachid Khan presided the trial as the president of the chamber judge Asoka de Zoyza Gunawardana is on sick leave until Thursday. The trial continues on Tuesday with the testimony 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''0322e)