Arusha, February 5, 2004(FH) - The personal assistant to general Romeo Dallaire during the time of the genocide, Major Brent Beardsley on Thursday completed his testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Major Beardsley was the 38th prosecution witness in the so-called “Military I” trial involving Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, the former chief of cabinet in the Ministry of Defense and three other former senior military officials.

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The testimony of Major Beardsley was important in so far as he took down the minutes of all the meetings that UNAMIR participated in and was also in charge of sending coded cables containing sensitive information to the UN headquarters. The Major also co-authored with General Dallaire the book, “Shake Hands with the Devil” a memoir on the Rwandan genocide. During his testimony, the witness revealed information mainly about Bagosora. He said in particular that the accused played a major role as a spokesperson for the government. The prosecution maintains that Bagosora is the ‘mastermind' of the genocide. Major Beardsley was mainly cross-examined by Bagosora's defence counsel, Raphaël Constant (France). Bagosora is jointly accused with Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva who was in charge of the Gisenyi military area (western Rwanda), general Gratien Kabiligi who was responsible for military operations at the headquarters of the army and Major Aloys Ntabakuze who was in charge of the Kanombe para-commando battalion. The next witness, DCB, began testifying late in the afternoon on Thursday. This trial is taking place in chamber one of the ICTR, presided by Norwegian judge Erik Mose, assisted by judges Serguei Egorov from Russia and Jai Ram Reddy From Fiji. SV/CE/FH (ML'0205e)