Arusha, February 23, 2004 (FH) - A prosecution witness in the trial of four former Rwandan Ministers on Monday presented evidence touching on a genocide suspect being tried in another case at the International Criminal Tribunalfor Rwanda (ICTR). Although the witness code named DY to protect his identity was testifying in the trial known as Government II, involving former cabinet ministers, his evidence dwelt mainly on a former military officer, Gratien Kabiligi, one of the four accused in the Military I trial.

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Brigadier General Gratien Kabiligi, former head of operations in the former Rwandan Army, is in a joint trial with former Director of Cabinet in theRwandan ministry of defence Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, former military commander of Gisenyi region Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva and the former Commander of Kanombe Para-military battalion, Major Aloys Ntabakuze. The witness, a former soldier, told the chamber he was attached to the armoured personnel carrier vehicle which used to escort Kabiligi to various places from April 20th 1994 for two months. Regarding the accused, DY said he only saw two of them, Casimir Bizimungu, former minister for Health and Justin Mugenzi, former minister for Commerce on April 7th at the Kigali Military Barracks. He stated that the two stayed briefly at the barracks, after which they were escorted to the Hotel des Diplomates in Kigali. The other two accused in Government II trial are Jerome Bicamumpaka, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prosper Mugiraneza, former minister of Civil service. Bizimungu's lead counsel Michelyne Chénard St-Laurent started cross-examining the DY witness in closed session shortly before the sessionended. The trial continues on Tuesday with the cross-examination of DY. 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'0223e)