Arusha, 2 October 2007 (FH) - Angeline Mukabanana, the wife of the musician Simon Bikindi accused before International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), stated Tuesday that she was put in jail several times under allegations of having refused to testify against his husband among other reasons.

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She said that in 1994, she was questioned on the type of weapons kept by Simon Bikindi, his husband and was put in jail for denying that she has never seen any weapon at Bikindi's house or elsewhere.
Another reason of being jailed was that she was accused for not having voted Paul Kagame to be the head of Rwanda adding that she did not know how they came to make those allegations while during presidential elections, none could know for whom you would have voted.
" I was surprised to be arrested under such kind of accusations as I know the process of election is a confidential matter. None could confirm that I did not vote for Paul Kagame since the elector is the one who knows for whom he/she elected." Emphasized the witness.
She added that she was even promised a car by the head of Gacacas' court in 1994 who asked her to testify against Bikindi. Refusing that offer put her in security instability as she came to find out that she was hunted.
About the accusations against Bikindi who is in trial since September 18, 2006, she declared that all are lies. She said that during 1994, most of hutus were arrested so his husband is charged following the arbitrary allegations raised against Hutus in Rwanda during the genocide period.
The prosecutor who tried to convince the witness on the fact that Bikindi was touring prefectures selecting the talented artists to be involved in the national ballet ‘ Urukerereza' competition asked the prosecutor if he did not realize that people who provided that information lied to him.
"Don't you realize that you have been lied. My husband was not involved in selection of talented artists because there was a supervisor and competitors were announced through radio station." She stated.
She and Bikindi were both staff members of the ballet division within the ministry of youth affairs and Bikindi was the Director of a folkloric ballet in 1994 within the same ministry. She therefore explained before the chamber of the ICTR that all songs sang by Bikindi aimed to promote peace and unity among Rwandans and the nation as a whole not creating and reinforcing tribal hatred.
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 defense plans to call 42 and its last witness should be heard on 21 November.

© Hirondelle News Agency