Arusha, January 21, 2004 (FH) - A prosecution witness in the trial of four former Rwandan ministers on Wednesday accused a defence counsel ofpresenting to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) a forged document on his oral confession to the Gacaca court . The accused in this trial known as Government II are former minister of Health, Casimir Bizimungu, former minister of Foreign Affairs Jérôme Bicamumpaka, that of Commerce, Justin Mugenzi and Prosper Mugiraneza, former minister of Public Service.

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The seventh witness named GAP to keep his identity secret told the trial chamber that the document produced by Casimir Bizimungu's lead counsel, Michelyne Chénard St-Laurent (Canada) was not his confession. He stated that the signature in the document did not conform to his, adding that some of the information he gave to the Gacaca court had been expunged. He claimed that he had mentioned Bizimungu during the confession but his name was not indicated in the document. “The counsel (St-Laurent) made an arrangement to have Bizimungu's name removed cleverly. I reject all these written statements because they are falsified” GAP declared. GAP, a former policeman form Ruhengeri, is in prison awaiting sentence for his role during the genocide. He has admitted killing three people during the massacres. The witness said he wrote to the Ruhengeri Public Prosecutor on August 12, 2002 pleading guilty and gave evidence in Gacaca between June and July 2003. Earlier, while being cross-examined by Bicamumpaka's counsel, Pierre Gaudreau (Canada), the witness said he should have been jointly tried withthe four ministers at ICTR because the accusations levelled against him are similar to those against them (ministers). The trial continues with the cross-examination of GAP by St-Laurent on Thursday. 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'0121e)