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Arusha, March 6, 2007 – Seraphin Bararengana, a brother of President Juvenal Habyarimana, gave an alibi to Protais Zigiranyirazo, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity, during his testimony Tuesday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Zigiranyirazo, a former prefect aged 69, is as much connected to Habyarimana as Bararengana because the two brothers were married to his sisters. After the death of the president on April 6, 1994, Bararengana, a surgeon, was in Butare (south) where he was a doctor and taught at the medical school. He was the dean of this school. The witness declared that he could rejoin the grieving family only on April 8 during the day, as a result of the danger of the way there. Seraphin Bararengana indicated that he had left Butare on April 7, in the company of the future interim president, Theodore Sindikubwabo and the Chief of the General Staff, Colonel Marcel Gatsinzi. He recounted that their convoy had been attacked at the entrance to the city of Kigali and that he had to spend the night at the general staff of the army. The next day, he was brought by helicopter to the military camp of Kanombe where he was escorted to the presidential residence, situated nearby. Dr. Bararengana indicated that among the persons that he found at the residence was Zigiranyirazo. According to him, the defendant stayed there until April 11, the date at which several members of the presidential family were evacuated to Rubaya (north). They arrived at the sites in the afternoon. Michel Bagaragaza, a defendant before the ICTR who testified for the prosecution in that trial, said that he met Zigiranyirazo in Rubaya in the morning of April 9 and that he held speeches encouraging the massacres of Tutsis. Bararengana, in his testimony, was categorical: “It’s a pure invention of Mr. Baragaragaza.” The witness underscored that on April 9, French soldiers evacuated the widow of the president and her children abroad and that Zigiranyirazo was present. Bararengana otherwise refuted allegations that Zigiranyirazo had taken part in meetings planning the massacres on April 10 and 12, 1994 in his house in the Kiyovu district in Kigali, emphasizing that they were together either in Kanombe or in Rubaya. Bararengana is one of the numerous relatives of the defendant who have come to his defense in the last few days. Among them are his nephews, his sister, and one of his wives. Zigiranyirazo was arrested in Belgium on July 26, 2001. His trial started October 3, 2005. He has pled not-guilty. AT/PB/KD © Hirondelle News Agency