Arusha, February 26, 2004 (FH) – An eye witness to the 1994 genocide told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday that one of the six accused in the so called ‘Butare trial', Elie Ndayambaje, former Mayor of Muganza commune, shot at Tutsi refugees during the massacres. The 34th prosecution witness code-named EV to conceal his identity alleged that the event took place at Kabuye hill where Tutsis had sought refuge.

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He said that Ndayambaje, in the company of Interahamwe militia, communal police, soldiers and Hutus from the area, surrounded the refugees and attacked them with grenades, guns and traditional weapons. Asked by ICTR prosecuting counsel Jonathan Moses if he saw Ndayambaje doing anything at the site, the witness said “ I saw him shooting with his weapon”. He did not specify the type of weapon used. Though EV could not estimate the number of refugees he met at Kabuye when he arrived, he said they were many from five different communes which included Kibayi,Muganza,Ndora, Runyinya and Nyaruguru. No specific dates and time when the events took place were given in open session. The trial alternated frequently between open and closed sessions. It was adjourned while still behind closed doors. Ndayambaje is jointly charged with the former minister of women and family affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, her son and former militia leader in Butare,Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, two former prefects of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana and Colonel Alphonse Nteziryayo, and former mayor of Ngoma commune Joseph Kanyabashi. The trial is expected to continue on Thursday 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''0226e)