Arusha, May 19, 2010 (FH) - The 14th defence witness in the case of the former Rwandan Youth Minister, Callixte Nzabonimana, denied Wednesday that the accused conspired with local leaders of the MRND ruling party in 1994 to incite the population in Tambwe commune, Gitarama prefecture, central Rwanda to kill ethnic Tutsis.

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The witness, code-named ‘'T92'' to protect his identity, told the Chamber presided by Ugandan Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa that Nzabonimana did not conspire with authorities to plan or incite  massacres at Ruhango cellule in Tambwe commune as alleged by the prosecution.

‘'All of that is fabrication. It never existed and never happened,'' the witness told the court during examination in-chief led by the accused lead French defence Counsel Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse.

The indictment among other things alleged that in April 1994, the accused together with Jerome Bicamumpaka addressed a meeting at the residence of one only identified as Marianne, the MRND President for Ruhango cellule in Tambwe commune where they were alleged to have incited the population to kill Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Bicamumpaka, former Rwandan minister of Foreign Affairs had already been jointly tried with three other former ministers and their case is awaiting judgment.

‘'From April to June, 1994 when I left, I never saw Nzabonimana at Ruhango,'' the witness claimed. Shortly after the prosecution took the floor to cross examine the witness, the Chamber went into closed session.

Nzabonimana is facing five charges-- genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder. He denied the charges.

His defence case started on April 14, after the prosecution rested its case a day before following conclusion of presentation of its 19 witnesses.

The trial continues Thursday.


© Hirondelle News Agency