Arusha, March 1, 2004 (FH) - The 17th witness in the trial of four former Rwanda government ministers, was on Monday ordered by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), to leave her diary with the registry after she consulted it to “refresh her memory” during trial. “All the contents of the diary should be included as evidence”, ordered the presiding judge of Trial Chamber Two, Asoka de Zoya Gunawardana from SriLanka.

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In the meantime, the witness can only keep a photocopy of the document. “The defence teams, after examining the diary, can also cross-examine the witness on its contents”, continued the judge. The prosecutor pleaded in vain to have only the page referred to by the witness presented as evidence and not the whole document. The witness code-named “GAT” to protect her identity, is a Tutsi woman who worked at the Rwandan ministry of health in 1994. She alleged that one of the accused, the former minister of health, Casimir Bizimungu, did nothing to stop massacres of Tutsis at the Kigali Hospital Centre (CHK). Bizimungu is jointly tried with the former minister of foreign affairs, Jerome Bicamumpaka, the former minister of commerce, Justin Mugenzi, and the former minister of public service, Prosper Mugiraneza. All have pleaded not guilty to six counts of genocide and crimes against humanity brought against each of them. Knows as “Government II”, the trial is taking place in Chamber Two which has two other judges besides Gunawardana: Lee Gacuiga Muthoga from Kenya and Khalid Rashid Khan from Pakistan. KN/ER/AT/FH (GVII''0301e)