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Arusha, February 27, 2007 – The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) wants to avail itself of testimonies that form part of the French Refugee Appeal Board‘s file in the matter of Agathe Kanziga, the wife of the former Rwandan president. The Board rejected on February 15 the former Rwandan first lady’s request for asylum on the theory that she should have been implicated as an “instigator or accomplice” in the genocide of April-July 1994 in her country. “We wrote to France asking for pieces of her file,” Sylvère Ntukamazina revealed Tuesday in a hearing, representing the Office of the Prosecutor, explaining that it concerned “testimonies contained in the file” of Mrs. Habyarimana. The Burundian ICTR prosecution counsel cross-examined Jeanne, one of the daughters of the former president Juvenal Habyarimana, who came to testify at the ICTR in the defence of her maternal uncle, Protais Zigiranyirazo, on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity. Mr. Ntukamazina indicated that as soon as the Office of the Prosecutor has received the requested pieces from the file, he could use them to cross-examine “Mr. Z” future defence witnesses. The testimonies requested allege that Mrs. Habyarimana and her brother Zigiranyirazo were present at the presidential residence on the night of April 6 to April 7, 1994, “during the establishment of a list of political persons to eliminate with their families, notably Agathe Uwilingiyimana,” acting Prime Minister, assassinated the next morning. Jeanne Habyarimana, like her brother, Jean-Luc, who found himself in the witness box Monday, denied that a meeting took place and the presence that night of her uncle Zigiranyirago at the residence. “Numerous lies have been told about many people,” the daughter of the former president claimed, protesting for the innocence of her mother and uncle. Launching into a long digression, taking advantage of a lack of vigilance by the prosecution’s representative, Jeanne Habyarimana also defended while on the verge of tears her father’s honor, presenting him as a man who “loved peace, protected Hutus, Tutsis and Twas,” without discrimination. The previous day, her brother painted a picture of a “mourning, emotional” Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana who did not know what to do after the assassination of her husband on the night of April 6, 1994. Zigiranyirazo has been on trial at the ICTR since October 2005, but the Office of the Prosecutor, which has kept 3 indictments under seal of confidentially, has refused to confirm whether or not it will charge Agathe Kanziga. After Jeanne Habyarimana, the defence called Domitilla, the first of four wives of the accused. Even if they have stopped using their pseudonyms, members of “Mr. Z’s” family have been under tight security during their stay at the seat of the Tribunal in Arusha, in Tanzania. According to the lead counsel, John Philpot (Canada), around forty witnesses should testify on behalf of Zigiranyirazo. ER/PB/AT/KD © Hirondelle News Agency