Arusha, August 31, 2010 (FH) - Former Rwandan Major Twambaze Aloys told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday that genocide accused Mathieu Ngirumpatse, president of the Rwandan ruling party in 1994 was a good and sociable person who loved music and appreciated his neighbours without discrimination.

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‘'I only heard he was a good person, sociable and would never wish evils to his neighbours,'' Major Twambaze, third defence witness for Ngirumpatse told Trial Chamber III as he was being led in his examination in-chief by the accused Co-counsel Frederic Weyl.

Ngirumpatse who is jointly tried alongside his Vice-President Edouard Kamera is charged for seven counts including genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by members of their party and its youth wing, Interahamwe militiamen. Karemera has already concluded his defence case.

Major Twambaze, now living in Brussels insisted in his testimony that he had neither seen Ngirumpatse nor touched his hands apart from what he heard from others about him.

‘'I did not know Ngirumpatse personally but I heard about him. He is not my friend and he is not my colleague,'' he stressed.

Commenting about Interahamwe militia participation in the 1994 genocide, the former military officer said he was not in the country during the events but heard over the mass media while on training in Brussels.

The fourth defence witnesses code-named GW to protect his identity for security reasons, took over the floor immediately after Major Twambaze had concluded his evidence. The testimony of GW was mostly held in closed session.

The trial continues on Wednesday.               


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