Arusha, 2 August 2007 (FH) - A witness accused of perjury was arrested Wednesday in Rwanda and transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to be tried there, it was learned Thursday in Arusha.

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It is the first time that charges are brought against a witness by the tribunal created by the UN in 1994 to try suspects of the genocide committed against Tutsis in Rwanda.

The protected witness GAA had initially testified for the prosecution then for the defence in the trial of the former Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda convicted to the life imprisonment on 19 September 2005 by the appeals chamber.

GAA had indicated that he had been induced into error by another witness for the prosecution in order to explain his reversal.

The appeals chamber ordered an investigation into GAA which led to his indictment by the ICTR prosecutor.

The indictment was confirmed on 11 June by Judge Jai Ram Reddy (Fiji) and an arrest warrant was issued against the witness.

He will soon appear before a judge, indicated the ICTR, without giving more details. The registrar will appoint a lawyer who will represent him if he is unable to afford one.

The maximum sentence incurred in the event of a conviction is five years in prison and/or a fine of 10, 000 US dollars.

The fine is paid to the registrar who places it into a separate account. Any decision rendered by a trial chamber shall be subject to appeal.

© Hirondelle News Agency