Arusha, January 25, 2010 (FH) - In twists of events, a witness claimed before the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR) Monday that a defence counsel attempted to corrupt him in order to give evidence in favour of his client Joseph Nzirorera, former Secretary General of then Rwanda's ruling party MRND, jointly charged with two other top party officials of 1994 genocide.

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‘'You dictated to me what to say and promised to give me 500 dollars...I agreed to sign,'' protected defence witness GAP told the attentive Chamber presided by Justice Dennis Byron.

The witness during re-examination by the accused's lead American defence counsel, Peter Robinson, alleged that they had struck a deal to give false testimony but he has decided to change his mind and say only the truth.

‘'When I met Counsel Robinson we were rather concocting evidence. He was the one who asked me to fabricate the evidence in favor of his client,'' the witness claimed about the written evidence given to the defence team on November 18, 2009 which bore his signature in each and every page.

In his written statement the witness explained that genocide detainees at Ruhengeri prison in Rwanda agreed to fabricate evidence against the former Rwandan government leaders facing genocide crimes at ICTR, including the accused Nzirorera, so that their confession could be accepted by the authorities and get released.

The witness also claimed in court that both, he and the Counsel, agreed to a recorded interview to authenticate the claims.

The Chamber was compelled to suspend the re-examination so that parties could have time to listen to 1hrour 20 minutes recorded audio cassette. The witness is expected to wind-up his testimony on Tuesday.

Other defendants in this trial include, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, former President of MRND and his Vice President, Edouard Karemera who has already completed his defence case.

The three-men are held responsible for their superior responsibility for the crimes allegedly committed by their subordinates.


© Hirondelle News Agency