Arusha, 16 February 2009 (FH) - The thirteenth prosecution witness in the genocide case against the former Rwandan military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ephrem Setako, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) at the resumption of the trial Monday that the accused ordered the population in a public meeting to expose Tutsis and kill them as they were allegedly the enemy of the nation.

1 min 9Approximate reading time

‘'He told us to flash out Inyenzi (Tutsis) and continue to kill them,'' the witness only known by pseudonyms SAF told the Chamber in response to questions by the prosecuting counsel, Ifeoma-Ojemini Okali of Nigeria, who wanted to know what the defendant told the audience when he addressed the meeting attended by the witness in 1994.

The witness mentioned several dignitaries who attended the meeting at undisclosed area for security reasons. They included the former Cabinet Director in the ministry of Defense Colonel, Tehoneste Bagosora and Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva , former commander of the military sector of Gisenyi (northern Rwanda) both of whom had already been sentenced to life imprisonment  and former Prefect of Kigali-Ville whose case is awaiting judgment, Tharcisse Renzaho.

According to the witness, as those dignitaries spoke in turn during the meeting, four Tutsis were being killed just close to the meeting venue and the leaders did nothing to spare their lives although they witnessed the slaughter.

SAF also revealed that the leaders encouraged and lured Tutsis in early or mid June, 1994 to come out of their hiding places alleging that the situation was calm but only to meet their death.

The defense of Col. Setako led by American lawyer, Prof. Lennox Hinds took over the floor to cross examine the witness. The trial continues on Tuesday.

The defendant is facing six counts including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He denied the charges.


© Hirondelle News Agency