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Arusha, Feburary 26, 2007 – Jean-Luc Habyarimana, one of the sons of the former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana denied, during his testimony Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that his maternal uncle, Protais Zigiranyirazo, had participated in the establishment of a list of political opponents to be killed after the assassination of the head of state during the night of April 6-7, 1994. Accused of crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, Zigiranyirazo, nicknamed Mr. Z, has pleaded not guilty. Habyarimana’s son, exiled in France, stated that Zigiranyirazo did not arrive at the presidential residence of Kanombe, in a suburb of Kigali, until the morning of April 7, 1994. “If he arrived during the night, I would have found out one way or another,” the witness stated, emphasizing that although he was only 18 at the time, he found himself as the de facto head of his family. His older brothers were in Paris and his paternal uncle, the doctor Seraphin Bararengana, had not yet arrived from Butare (south) where he taught at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), he explained. According to Michel Bagaragaza, also being prosecuted by the ICTR, Agathe Kanziga, Habyarimana’s widow, and his brother Zigiranyirazo established, after the death of the president, a list of opponents to eliminate. Jean Luc Habyarimana also confirmed an alibi, through which his uncle could not have, as the indictment alleges, directed an attack against the Tutsis in Rubaya, in the prefecture of Gisenyi (west) on April 8, 1994. He testified that the accused had spent the day at Kanombe, splitting his time between the presidential residence and the military hospital where the president’s body had been taken. The witness had also stated that his mother, who France had refused asylum to, last month, was not involved in politics. “My mother did not participate in political activities: she played no other role than that of the wife of a head of state,” stated Jean-Luc Habyarimana. The witness, who is in his second hearing before the ICTR, declared that his mother’s role was limited to “accompanying the president” in certain ceremonies. ER/PB/KD/AT © Hirondelle News Agency