Arusha, 12  October, 2009 (FH) - Frenchwoman Madeleine Raffin, who lived and worked in Rwanda for 29 years, on Monday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that she never heard people in Rwanda mention former official Dominique Ntawukulilyayo as a genocide perpetrator.

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Ntawukulilyayo is charged with genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide in the southern Gisagara sub-prefecture, of which he was Deputy Governor in 1994. He has denied the charges.

Raffin, the fifteenth witness for the defence, lived in Rwanda between 1968 and 1997. She told the court that between April 1994 and March 1997 she worked for the aid agency Caritas in southern Rwanda and had travelled extensively there. She acknowledged that killings took place in Gisagara but said she had never heard Ntawukulilyayo's name linked to them.

The trial was adjourned to Tuesday when the Chamber, presided by Judge Khalida Khan, will hear the next defence witness.

Ntawukulilyayo was arrested on 16 October, 2007 in Carcassonne, south-western France, on the basis of an ICTR arrest warrant.

Ntawukulilyayo tried in vain to resist his transfer to the UN tribunal, including taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights (CEDH).

Transferred to the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania, in June 2008, he is the third accused to be transferred by France.


© Hirondelle News Agency