Arusha, February 3, 2004 (FH) –The former assistant to General Dallaire when the genocide took place, Major Brent Beardsley, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday that ”Gendarmes, Interahamwe and civilians worked together to ensure that the Rwandan massacres took place. ”Major Beardsley was giving information during his examination in chief in the Military I trial involving former Chief of Cabinet Colonel TheonesteBagosora and three other senior military officials.

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The prosecution maintains that Bagosora and his colleagues had the power to order theirsubordinates to stop the genocide but they did not. The prosecution believes that Bagosora is the “mastermind” of the genocide. According to the major, all security stake holders were involved in the killings at the strategic points. “At roadblocks, we frequently saw a pattern of gendarmes with civilians, militia and gendarmes and a combination of civilians, militia and Non commissioned officers,” he explained. “The gendarmerie burnt Identity Cards of adults and thereafter Tutsis were killed,” he said, adding, “I don't remember seeing people killing deliberately but I saw people being searched for ID's, then fresh bodies lay randomly besides the road blocks. I searched the abandoned bodies. They showed Tutsis ethnically targeted. ”The major said he witnessed a massacre that was carried out by gendarmes in the Gikondo Parish church. “The church was covered with around 165 bodies of men, women and children who were mostly in civilian attire. It was an obscene sight. Corpses were cut up with machetes, bodies lay in the church and around the fence” he described. After investigations, UNAMIR realized that the dead were all Tutsi. He added that a priest and military observers at the scene became confusedafter gendarmes forced them to witness the killings. “Gendarmes put guns under the throats of the priest and military observers, they then slashed open the stomachs of pregnant women and killed other people slowly by mutilating their body parts,” he said. The 38th witness informed the court that the militia and civilians got involved in a killing Frenzy which intensified especially at the roadblocks after the 8th of April. Major Beardsley completed his chief examination and is being cross-examined by Mr. Raphael Constant of France, Bagosora's lead counsel. In the so-called “Military I” trial Bagosora is jointly accused with the former chief of operations of the former Rwandan army. Brigadier Gratien Kabiligi, the former military commander of Gisenyi region, Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, who was the commander of the Para-commando battalion based In Kanombe (Kigali). All have pleaded not guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. The trial is in Trial Chamber One of the ICTR composed of Judge Erik Møse from Norway, Judge Serguei Aleckseievich Egorov from Russia, and Judge Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji. SV/CE/FH (ML'0203eee)