Arusha, February 13, 2004 (FH)- A prosecution witness in the military trial of the former director of cabinet in the Rwandan Ministry of Defense, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and three other senior military officials of the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR), Friday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that he witnessed the former minister of social affairs being killed. The witness code-named EQ to protect his identity, told the court that the Minister, Landoald Ndasingwa and his family were killed by the presidential guard soldiers on 7th of April 1994, following the assassination, the previous night of President Juvenal Habyarimana.

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"They told me to go and see how my employer was going to be killed. Landoald his wife, son and daughter, sat on the bed in his bedroom, one presidential guard came and started shooting", recounted the witness. "I was there, I saw Landoald's mother take a cloth and cover her face before being shot as well", EQ who is the 42nd prosecution witness told the court. "The minister, his wife and son died immediately after being shot once in the head. The daughter was shaking and crying out that she was dying"He narrated that a warrant officer ordered that the daughter "should be finished off. She was shot for a second time in the ear and she died". EQ added that the warrant officer also ordered the killing of a Tutsi house help related to Landoald. EQ said that nobody tried to stop the event which lasted seven minutes. While being cross-examined by Bagosora's co counsel, Paul Skolnik of Canada, the witness was challenged as to the time the incident happened. EQ answered that though he was not wearing a watch, the incident happened at around 7:30 am. The defence then produced a statement by Belgian peacekeeper, Colonel Luc Marshall, in which the soldier claims to have been called by the minister's wife at 8:30 am. EQ completed the rest of his examination in closed session. Bagosora is co-accused in the so-called "Military I" trial with Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva who was in charge of the Gisenyi military area (North-westernRwanda), the former head of military operations of the army, General Gratien Kabiligi and Major Aloys Ntabakuze who was the commander of the Kanombe para-commando battalion based in Kigali. All have pleaded not guilty to genocide and crimes against humanity. The trial is in Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, presided over by Judge Erik Møse of Norway. He is assisted by Judge Serguei Aleckseievich Egorov of Russia as well as Judge Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji. Judge Egorov was absent for the third day of hearing. SV/GA/KN/AT/FH (ML''0213e)