03.09.07 - ICTR/RENZAHO - THE PROSECUTOR CONFRONTS RENZAHO ON HIS CONTRADICTIONS

Arusha, 3 September 2007 (FH) - Tharcisse Renzaho, the former prefect of Kigali, cross-examined by the prosecutor following his testimony, was on several occasions confronted with his contradictions before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
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Testifying for his own defence, since the beginning of last week, he explained to the chamber why his role was tiny in front of the chaos which had been established in the capital and that he had no means of intervening. At which Jonathan Moses, for the prosecution, recalled to him that he had until the end had access to the national radio to launch his appeals and that he "had worked in sync" with those who took part in the genocide.

"Your story falls to pieces and you are trying to re-stick the pieces" Moses told him Monday morning before finishing his cross-examination that had begun Thursday.

Point by point, the prosecutor re-stated the charges of the prosecutions alleging that he had protected the massacres of civilians in the capital, not to have pursued the persons that committed rapes and to have allowed plundering.

The prosecutor also based himself on the testimony of the former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, already convicted by this tribunal, who assured that Renzaho, in office since 1990, had retaken control of the city as of 17 April and had been the instigator of the massacres.

"If he had had the courage to remain instead of heading to Gitarama, he could have spoken" said Renzaho for whom Kambanda was "a member of the opposition that created problems".

Questioned on his appeals for the protection of the goods and not of the people, Renzaho answered "but these goods belonged to the persecuted people!". His role, explains the former prefect who was also an officer, was tiny because of the state of war which monopolized all the gendarmes. He was, he said, "faced with an anarchic situation where nobody knew with whom to speak".

He was a member of the officer corps that had been stationed in the prefecture to carry out recruitment, pointed out the prosecutor. Renzaho, explained why these "hasty" recruitments were intended to reform the battalion of the Rwandan Armed Forces that had seen 75% percent of its forces destroyed on Mount Kigali. According to him, "the soldiers did not want to curb what happened". "I am, he said, one of the people who suffers the most from what occurred in Rwanda"

PB/AT/MM
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