12.02.08 - ICTR/BUTARE - KANYABASHI PROTECTED TUTSIS BY OFFERING THEM HUTU ID CARDS, CLAIMS WITNESS

Arusha, 12 February 2007 (FH) - A defence witness Tuesday told the UN Court how a former Governor of Ngoma commune in Butare, southern Rwanda, secretly provided Tutsis with Identity Cards (IDs) to protect their ethnicity during the 1994 genocide.
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The witness, known only as "D-2-40-W" to protect his identity, claimed that Joseph Kanyabashi was a protector of ethnic Tutsis.

The witness named a student of Parent School Group 'Group Scholaire Des Parents', Jean Marie Vianney Kamana ,who was given the IDs to be distributed to Tutsis to conceal their real ethnicity.

Kanyabashi is the fifth defendant presenting his case in the joint trial of six defendants known as Butare Trial.

The trial, which began on 11 June 2001, is the oldest and the largest trial before the ICTR.

The other accused in the trial are the former mayors, Alphonse Nteziryayo and Sylvain Nsabimana, former Governor of Muganza, Elie Ndayambaje, ex-minister for family and women affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsene Ntahobali, former militia leader.

The six, accused of crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, have pleaded not guilty.

AS/ SC/GF
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