"He preached brotherhood, love and peace", witness Emmanuel Hakizimana claimed. He denied prosecution allegations that the Hutu Catholic priest called, in his sermons, for hatred against ethnic Tutsis.
During the genocide, Nsengimana was Rector of the Christ the King College in Nyanza, southern Rwanda, one of the best learning institutions in Rwanda.
"To my knowledge, he did not favour any ethnic group, he treated all his students and professors in the same way", stated the witness, underlining to have lived under the same roof as the defendant during the 1992-1993 school year.
Hakizimana, then studying at the Grand Seminary of Nyakibanda, southern Rwanda, had come under his internship to teach Latin and religion at the Christ the King College, under the supervision, he said, of the accused.
He also rejected the clergyman being politically implicated. "I shared daily life with him; I never noticed at his home any political activity", stated Hakizimana, the 18th defence's witness for Nsengimana.
He also indicated to have been contacted in 2004 by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) who asked him to testify against the priest.
"I answered that all the charges against Abbot Hormisdas were lies. I can not come to tell lies", he claimed.
Nsengimana, who claims his innocence, is one of the three catholic priests detained by the ICTR. His trial began in June 2007.
© Hirondelle News Agency