Arusha, 24 November 2008 (FH) - German political scientist Helmut Strizek, an expert witness on the Great Lakes region, was called Monday by defence of Captain Innocent Sagahutu, on trial alongside three other officers of the former Rwandan Armed forces (RAF).

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It is his fourth testimony before the ICTR where was was called in the "media", "military I" and "government II" cases, always at the request of the defence.

At the start of his new testimony, he notably stated that until 5 October 1993, Washington and Paris had a concerted management of the Rwandan case. "There was a kind of dialogue between France and the United States, a dialogue which was broken off at the arrival of (Bill) Clinton", supported the witness who testified via videoconference from The Hague.

He explained why at the signature, on 4 August 1993, of the peace accords between the Rwandan government and the former rebellion of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF, currently in power), this dialogue still existed. Among the persons responsible for the rupture, he cited Madeleine Albright who, according to him, "was driven by an unfavourable prejudice towards France". Mrs. Albright represented her country at the United Nations from 1993 to 1997, the date on which she was named Secretary of State by President Clinton. After this German political scientist, the captain's defence should call during the week, the French historian, Bernard Lugan.

The last to call his witnesses in this case, Sagahutu is on trial alongside the former commander of the reconnaissance battalion, Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, the former chief of staff of the gendarmerie, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, and the former chief of staff of the army, General Augustin Bizimungu.

Accused of crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, all have claimed their innocence. Their trial began in September 2004.


© Hirondelle News Agency