Arusha, January 30, 2004 (FH) - The personal assistant to general Romeo Dallaire during the time of the genocide, Major Brent Beardsley told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday that the former director of cabinet in the Ministry of Defence, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, “was two faced”. Major Beardsley is the 38th prosecution witness in the so-called “Military I” trial involving Bagosora and three other senior former military officials.

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The Major told the court that the United Nations Mission Assistance to Rwanda (UNAMIR) was sent to Rwanda soon after the Arusha peace accord of the 14th of August, 1993 was signed, and met with the two signing parties in several meetings. It was in such a meeting the witness recounted, that he realized, “Bagosora was two faced, he had a social face and a business face. During the breaks he was very friendly towards the UNAMIR but he had little interaction with the RPF. ”Bagosora was then leading the delegation of the government of Rwanda. In the first two meetings which took place on August 23 and 27, he recalled how Bagosora “ did all the talking. Nobody else spoke for the government, Bagosora clarified the government position on the Arusha peace accord. ”The witness also said that he observed that everybody else spoke to Bagosora as their leader. “You could see that they were subordinates speaking to their leader,” he said. The prosecution maintains that Bagosora is the ‘mastermind' of the genocide. Major Beardlsey then recounted how the situation had changed in Rwanda when he went back there in November of the same year. Among these changes, the witness mentioned divisions in some political parties and the creation of militia. Regarding Bagosora, he said that he “was cooperative and positive before September 1993, and became confrontational after that. ”All these factors led to an atmosphere of insecurity, Beardsley said,. He evoked in particular the massacre of children, around the end of November in Ruhengeri (North) and Gisenyi (North west). UNAMIR decided to set up a joint board of inquiry (including FAR and RGF) to investigate the massacres. “Children were strangled and killed,” the major said, narrating that he personally went to the scene to investigate thesight. Major Beardsley will continue being chief examined next Tuesday. Monday is a public holiday in Tanzania. Three other prosecution witnesses namely EQ, DCB and XAF have been lined up to testify next week. 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 trial had been delayed for two-days when defence counsels had gone on strike regarding their rights and those of their clients. The lawyerscalled off the strike on Friday morning after what they say is, “agreement by the registrar to comply with some of their requirements. ”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'0130e)