20.09.10 - ICTR/KAREMERA - EX-RWANDAN MAYOR DENIES INTERAHAMWE PRESENCE IN HIS COMMUNE

Arusha, September 20, 2010 (FH) - Former Rwandan Mayor and genocide-acquitted person, Jean Mpambara Monday said before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that there were no Interahamwe militiamen of the MRND ruling party in his Rukara commune in Kibungo prefecture (Eastern Rwanda).
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The witness was testifying in defence of MRND President, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, jointly tried alongside his Vice President, Edouard Karemera who had already completed his defence case.

‘'There were no Interahamwe in my commune,'' Mpambara told the Chamber during examination in chief led by the accused Co-counsel, Frédéric Weyl.

The prosecutor indicted Ngirumpatse and his co-accused Karemera 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.

According to the witness those who were involved in the attacks and killings of civilians, mostly Tutsis, were young delinquent people possibly from all political parties represented in Rukara commune including PSD,MRND, MDR and PL.

The witness also denied that the MRND boss planned and organized genocide against Tutsis.

‘'Such allegations if made by any one would be baseless because as far as I know there has never been a meeting with the agenda of planning and organizing genocide against Tutsis,'' Mpambara told the Chamber presided over by Judge Dennis Byron.

The witness who was also a member of Kibungo prefecture MRND committee meeting cleared the accused on the allegation that he participated in the joint criminal enterprise with other leaders of the party, government authorities and the military to eliminate Tutsis.

Mpambara was arrested in Western Tanzania on June 21, 2001 and was tried for genocide by ICTR. He was acquitted of the offences on September 12, 2006.

The ex-mayor concluded his evidence leaving the witness box to the former Rwanda Information Minister, Pascal Ndengejeho who continues with his evidence on Tuesday.

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