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Arusha, 11 April 2007 (FH)- Protais Zigiranyirazo, called Mr. Z, a brother-in-law of the Rwandan ex-President Juvénal Habyarimana, had no influence on promotions in the public administration, a witness affirmed wednesday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The witness, Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana, testifying via videolink from The Hague (Netherlands) ,was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first post-genocide government. Before that, he had been Ambassador of Rwanda in Ethiopia and France. Ndagijimana knows about the practices of the Rwandan central administration because he was the General Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service between 1981 and 1986. Being the number 2 of this Ministry, he notably coordinated the recruitments and promotions of public officers, he said. According to his testimony, Mr. Z “did not intervene in the designation of public officers of the central administration”. I never saw him in the Ministry, I never dealt with a file that came from him”, Ndagijimana said. The Prosecutor alleges that Zigiranyirazo was a member of the Akazu (small hut in Kinyarwanda), a group of persons close to the ex-President which had big influence on the state machinery before and during the genocide of the Tutsi in 1994. Zigiranyirazo is accused of having played a predominant role in that genocide. He has pled not guilty. His trial started in October 2005. One of the Prosecution’s witnesses on the subject of Z’s alleged control of the administration is Christophe Mfizi, former director of the Rwandan Information Office (ORINFOR) which controlled the official media. According to Mfizi, Mr. Z created a “politico-criminal mist”, the “Network Zéro” which, among other things, “undermined the moral foundations of the Rwandan society, especially by leading the youth to the road of extreme violence”. Mfizi was dismissed from the ORINFOR in 1990. Two years later, he wrote a very critical pamphlet about the regime Habyarimana. Ndagijimana said that he knew Mfizi very well and declared that “according to what he said when he came to Paris, he was unjustly demoted... He was a bit frustrated”. Z has presented his evidence since October 2006. He is tried by a Chamber presided by the Argentinean Judge Inés Monica de Roca. He is defended by two Canadian lawyers: Mr. John Philpot and Mr. Peter Zaduk. The Prosecution Team is led by the Tanzanian Wallace Kapaya. AT/PB/CV © Hirondelle News Agency