Arusha, March 10, 2004 (FH) – The 37th prosecution witness in the “Butare trial” on Wednesday concluded his testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) by stating some facts which, according to the defence, contradicted his written statements. The witness code-named FAU was being cross examined by Pierre Boule, lead counsel for Elie Ndayambaje, the former mayor of Muganza commune in Butare prefecture, one of the six accused in this trial.

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Boule challenged the witness's oral testimony about the massacres which took place at Mugombwa church in Muganza commune. Giving examples, the counsel said that while in his oral statement the witness denied being present during the killings at Mugambwa church and that he did not see the accused Ndayambaje nor the vehicle he arrived in, he stated the contrary in his written statement. Boule relied on the confession statements made by FAU to the Rwandan authorities on October 10, 1999 and to the ICTR investigators on December 29, 1999. “This does not reflect your oral testimony in court?,” counsel Boule asked. “I think there are no differences or contradictions,” the witness responded. “One cannot narrate all the events correctly, there are some I cannot remember,” he added. Judge William Hussein Sekule, presiding over the trial interrupted counsel Boule saying the chamber made note of the evidence adduced and asked the counsel to proceed with other issues. The trial then went in closed session. When it resumed, FAU was about to finish his testimony. Another prosecution witness dubbed RT was called in for examination in-chief. Other co-accused are, the former minister of women and family affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, her son and former militia leader in Butare, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, two former prefect of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo and the former mayor of Ngoma commune, Joseph Kanyabashi. The “Butare trial” 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''03010e)