Arusha, 10 November, 2008 (FH) - Elie Ndayambaje, last accused in the six-man trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) popularly known as "Butare Trial" denied allegations that his re-appointment as Mayor of Muganza commune toward the end of 1994 genocide was a ‘reward' for efforts he made in perpetrating mass killings after the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana.

1 min 9Approximate reading time

"This testimony is completely false. I was re-appointed Mayor of Muganza commune on merit," remarked Ndayambaje in response to questions by his Canadian lead counsel, Pierre Boule. The accused was re-appointed Mayor on June 18, 1994 and sworn in four days later.

The counsel's questions emanated from the testimony and expert report of French Professor, Andre Guichaoua, who among other things claimed on September 28, 2004 that the appointment was outcome of accused's active participation in perpetration of Tutsi massacres.

The defendant also said he neither took part in the administration of Butare prefecture nor had influence in government and local authorities in Muganza and Butare prefecture at large as alleged by the evidence given by Prof Guichaoua.

Part of the indictment states that the accused conspired with government and political leaders in various meetings conducted in the region to incite the Hutu population to kill minority ethnic Tutsis.

Ndayambaje continued with his own defence after a week-long suspension following his ill health and that of his colleague, Alphonse Nteziryayo, former Governor who on Monday could not continue with the afternoon session because of his deteriorating health condition, forcing the Chamber to adjourn the trial until the following day.

Others accused are Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Minister for Family and Women Affairs and her son, Arsene Shalom Ntahobal;, former mayor, Joseph Kanyabashi and ex-Governor, Sylvain Nsabimana. The trial started in June 2001.

All have pleaded not guilty to genocide, crimes against humanity and public incitements.


© Hirondelle News Agency