Arusha, December  08, 2009 -  A 67-year old Former Rwandan Deputy Governor, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, charged with genocide, complicity in genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Tuesday that, throughout his public life, he enjoyed good relations with ethnic Tutsis, free of discrimination.

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Ntwawukulilyayo, who pleads non guilty, was defending himself before the UN Tribunal for crimes allegedly committed in the former sub-prefecture of Gisagara (southern Rwanda).

He started his public life as primary school teacher in his native commune of Mubuga, in Gikongoro prefecture, in 1963. Three years later, he was promoted school Inspector.The accused said his commune was unique in that it had more Tutsi than Hutu teachers. Though belonging to the majority Hutu group, Ntwawukulilyayo claimed not having discriminated against Tutsis, as people thought he would.

‘'What mattered to me was the competency and hard work of the teachers under my supervision,'' he told the ICTR as he was being led through his testimony by one of his defence counsels, Maroufa Diabira.

The accused said the aspiration to serve the people of his native commune of Mubuga made him run for the post of mayor, a seat he won in 1967. He served in this capacity for four years. Then, not having been re-elected, he went back to teaching.

In November 1974, he was appointed Sub-prefect of Kigali. In 1982, he won a seat in parliament which he lost in 1988, in another election. Having worked for a few months as a civil servant in Butare prefecture, he was appointed Sub-prefect of Gisagara, a position he held during the 1994 genocide.

Ntawukulilyayo, the son of a cattle herder, is married and father of eight children.

His trial was adjourned until Thursday when he is to continue his testimony. 22 defence witnesses have already testified. The Prosecution completed its case calling to the bar 12 witnesses between May 6 and 26, 2009.


© Hirondelle News Agency