Arusha, 13 November, 2008 (FH) - Elie Ndayambaje, last accused in a six-man trial, Thursday denied that he and another accused, Alphonce Nteziryayo, former Governor, used parables in their speeches to incite the population to kill ethnic Tutsis during the former's installation ceremony as Mayor of Muganza commune on 22 June 1994.

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"It was not a time for using parables. We needed to send clear messages to people about bringing peace in their respective areas," Ndayambaje explained as he responded to questions from his lead Canadian defence Counsel, Pierre Boule.

Ndayambaje said among other things highlighted in his speech apart from thanking the invited guests and the general public, he sent condolence messages to families which lost their loved ones during the escalating massacres and the need to go from one sector to another to pacify the population to restore peace.

According to him even the speech of Nteziryayo, the then prefect of Butare who spoke first before Ndayambaje had more or less similar messages.

Counsel Boule picked up parts of documentary evidence given by several protected prosecution witness including "FAG" and "QAL" who alleged that the two defendants used Kinyarwanda parables in their speeches during the function aiming at inciting the population to take up arms and kill ethnic-Tutsis.

The trial continues next Monday.

Other defendants are: Former Minister for Familiy and Women Affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali; former Governor Sylvain Nsabimana and Ex-Mayor of Ngoma commune, Joseph Kanyabashi. The trial started in June 2001.

All six have pleaded not guilty to genocide and crimes against humanity .


© Hirondelle News Agency