01.10.07 - ICTR/BIKINDI - BIKINDI WAS NOT PRESENT DURING THE GENOCIDE PERIOD (DEFENCE)

Arusha, 1st October 2007 (FH) - A defence witness stated Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that the musician Simon Bikindi, charged of inciting Tutsi genocide in April 1994 was not present during that period.
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Protected witness "KMS", stated that Bikindi was in Congo-Brazaville during April 1994 and came back in Nyundo sector located in Gisenyi prefecture in June 1994.

" I was there in Nyundo sector when Bikindi came back from Congo-Brazaville and he did not stay longer as at hat period the population was fleeing.", said the witness.

He also denied the fact that Bikindi, was involved in any political party including the MRND party adding that he has never participate in any political rally apart from musical performance rallies.

KMS was a member of Irindilo ballet created in 1989 whose the committee included Bikindi at the management level adding that that committee was composed by Tutsi and Hutu for one purpose of becoming a best group at the national level.

Bikindi, 53, was arrested in the Netherlands in July 2001. He has on trial since 18 September 2006. The prosecutor called 17 witnesses in this case. The defence plans to call 42 and its last witness should be heard on 21 November.

AS/PB
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