03.09.09 - ICTR/KANYARUKIGA - KANYARUKIGA ALLEGEDLY CELEBRATED AFTER DESTRUCTION OF NYANGE CHURCH

Arusha, 3 September 2009 (FH) - The third prosecution witness in the genocide case against the former Rwandan businessman, Gaspard Kanyarukiga, 64, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Thursday that the accused drank beers and wine with his accomplices shortly after the Nyange Parish  in Kivumo Commune, Kibuye prefecture, was demolished by attackers on April 16, 1994.
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The witness only known as ‘'CBK'' to protect his identity, explained that he witnessed the accused Kanyarukiga consulting with several authorities at Nyange Church including Priest Athanase Seromba (already serving life imprisonment after being convicted for the offence by ICTR), Fulgence Kayishema (police inspector) and others and later ordered that the church which allegedly housed about 2000 Tutsi refugees be destroyed.

‘'After the demolition the assailants went to rest whereas the authorities entered into the Presbyterian to celebrate by drinking beers and wine,'' CBK who was being led in his examination-in-chief by prosecution attorney Arthia Alexis, told the Chamber.

According to the witness, among the authorities who took part in the celebration were Kanyarukiga, Fr. Seromba, Kayishema and other authorities whom, he said, could not recall.

The defence took over the floor to cross examine the witness immediately after prosecution had concluded examination-in-chief. The prosecution is expected to field 10 witnesses.

The accused was arrested in South Africa on July 16, 2004 and transferred to Arusha three days later.

Kanyarukiga is charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination). He has pleaded innocent to the charges.

The trial started August 31.

NI/SC/GF

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