Arusha, February 26, 2004 (FH) -The seventeenth prosecution witness in the trial of four former Rwandan Ministers on Thursday told the InternationalCriminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that the former minister for health, Casimir Bizimungu, failed to stop killings of Tutsis at the Kigali Central Hospital in 1994. Bizimungu is jointly accused in the so-called Government II trial with the former minister of Foreign Affairs Jérôme Bicamumpaka, that of Commerce,Justin Mugenzi and Prosper Mugiraneza, former minister of Public Service.

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They each face six counts of genocide and crime against humanity. The witness code-named GAT, informed the court that Bizimungu knew about the massacres in the hospital but did nothing to stop them. “The Interahamwe and the Presidential Guards were killing people at the hospital, the minister went there but did nothing” GAT explained, adding that he knew that more than 3000 patients were killed at Kigali Central Hospital. “Minister Bizimungu did not do anything to stop this, even in other hospitals throughout Rwanda” the witness also stated. The witness, who is testifying for the second day, indicated that some Tutsis were were thrown inside pit latrines when they were still alive, at the same hospital. GAT, a former secretary in the Ministry of Health, said she heard Bizimungu on the radio calling on employees from his ministry in charge of cleanlinessand sanitation to report to work. Bizimungu stated that the employees were required to remove the “dirt” which had littered the town. According to the witness the dirt meant bodies. The minister made the announcement between April 6th and 10th 1994. After the witness completed her evidence in chief, she informed the court that she was unable to continue testifying because she was unwell. She will be cross-examined by the defence on Friday morning. 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 Rashid Khan (Pakistan)PJ/CE/FH (GVII'0226e)