Arusha, March 18, 2004 (FH) – The 40th prosecution witness in the so called ‘'Butare trial'' which groups six genocide suspects, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday that her limited knowledge in French explains several contradictions between her oral and written statements. The witness, code-named FAE, was heard mainly in closed session in her examination in chief.

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During cross-examination by Nicole Bergevin, lead counsel for Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former minister of Women and Family Affairs and one of the accused in this trial, she was challenged on the differences between her written statement to the investigators, and her oral testimony in court. “French is not my mother tongue, after studies I did not use French,” the witness responded to counsel Bergevin. The counsel wanted to know why the witness did not mention in her written statement of May 7, 1999 that the leader of the assailants who attacked her sector had a list of the names of Tutsis to be attacked and killed. “I may have told him that. I did not have the interpreter,” she said. Bergevin also confronted the witness on why, during her oral testimony, she alleged that she saw and heard Nyiramasuhuko distributing condoms to youngHutus, ordering to put them on before raping and ultimately killing Tutsi women whereas she said something different in her written statement. “My French is not good. Judges should take into account what I said yesterday,” she replied. Witness FAE concluded her testimony in closed session. The prosecutor immediately introduced the 41st witness called QA. The other accused are Nyiramasuhuko's son and former militia leader in Butare, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, two former prefects of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Ntezirayo, another former mayor of Ngoma commune, Joseph Kanyabashi and that of Muganza Elie Ndayambaje. The hearing continues on Monday. This case is taking place in Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR, composed of Judge William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Judge Arlette Ramaroson from Madagascar and Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa of Uganda. NI/CE/FH(BT''0318e)