21.09.10 - ICTR/KAREMERA - FORMER INFORMATION MINISTER CONTRADICTS EVIDENCE OVER MRND

Arusha, September 21, 2010 (FH) - Former Rwandan minister of Information, Pascal Ndengejeho, Tuesday contradicted his evidence before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) after giving different narration about the ruling party in 1994, MRND.
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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.

Whereas during cross examination in court the witness said allegation that MRND wanted to block the implementation of the Arusha Peace Accord was meant to discredit the party as part of propaganda in the multiparty politics, the document signed by his party, MDR, stated just the opposite.

‘'The political bureau of MDR requests MRND, its President as well as their ministers to stop blocking government action to implement the Arusha Peace Accord,'' indicated part of the document signed by his MDR party on February 8, 1994.

Asked by ICTR prosecution attorney, Takeh Sendze whether that part indicated clearly that MRND did not want to implement the Peace Accord, Ndengejeho strongly denied.

‘'This paragraph meant to discredit MRND but not to block the implementation of the Accord,'' he said explaining that it was normal during multipartism era for parties to take advantages that favoured its side.

The witness also was reluctant to accept suggestion by the prosecution that MRND members with its ally party CDR perpetrated massacres that killed about 300 people and displaced 4,500 others, mostly Tutsis in Gisenyi, Ruhengeri and Kibuye prefectures in the second half of January 1993.

‘'These blind acts of violence targeted mainly Tutsis and people other than members of MRND and CDR party. The victims were about 300 people who died and 4,500 were displaced,'' stated part of the document signed by the witness on March 11, 1993 in his capacity as Information minister following the outcome of the investigation on the event.

The former minister concluded his evidence. The case continues on Wednesday.

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.

NI/FK/GF

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