‘'No one came to Nyiramakuba's [Nzirorera mother's name] house where we lived, be it a civilian, politician, soldier or other authorities,'' Claire Nyirabutsisi, the accused's cousin told the attentive Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) presided by Judge Dennis Byron.
Led in examination-in-chief by co-defence counsel, Patrick Nimy Mayandika, the witness said she had been living with her grandmother at Busogo in Mukingo commune, Ruhengeri prefecture, between 1990 and1994 when they fled the escalating war, but she had neither seen nor heard that meetings were held in the old lady's house.
The prosecution alleged in the indictment that, among others, Nzirorera, then Secretary General of MRND and authorities in Mukingo commune held several meetings to plan and organize genocide against ethnic-Tutsis at various locations in the area, including in the house of his mother.
She explained that following the news of the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994, she and others, about ten people in the house, could not go out for two days because of insecurity.
The witness also denied that ‘'killing'' meetings were conducted inside Isimbi, a building in Mukingo commune claimed to be owned by a Nzirorera's family member.
Nyirabutsisi is Nzirorera's fifteen defence witness. 24 others are still in the waiting list for this session, expected to end on March 18, 2010.
The trial, which opened in September 2005 continues, Thursday.
According to Defence counsel Peter Robinson, former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army, General Augustin Bizimungu, is scheduled to testify in defence of Nzirorera on February 28.
The case of General Bizumungu, who is jointly tried alongside three other senior military officers in the so called ‘'Military II Trial'', is at judgement drafting stage.
© Hirondelle News Agency