21.02.11 - ICTR/NDAHIMANA - REPENTANT "GENOCIDAIRE" DEFENDS FORMER MAYOR NDAHIMANA

Arusha, February 21, 2011 (FH) - A witness testifying on Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in defence of former mayor Grégoire Ndahimana said that the accused himself had to stop at roadblocks in his hometown of Kivumu during the 1994 genocide.
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Ndahimana is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. In 1994, he was the mayor of Kivumu commune, where 2,000 Tutsis were massacred in a catholic church on April 16, 1994.

Code-named "ND 24", the witness spent years in prison for his role in the killings at Nyange Parish. He claimed that Inspector of Police Fulgence Kayishema had given orders to stop and rummage in every single vehicle, including Ndahimana's car.

Asked by the Prosecutor Holo Makwaia why Ndahimana did not dismantle the roadblocks in his administrative entity, witness ND 24 replied: "He could not remove the roadblocks because he was not the one who had given orders to erect them. Kayishema was".

Fulgence Kayishema is charged by the ICTR with genocide or complicity in genocide in the alternative, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination (crimes against humanity). He is still on the run.

Witness ND 24 also stated that Ndahimana was not present at Nyange Parish on April 16, 1994, when a bulldozer demolished the church, burying alive around 2,000 Tutsis who had sought refuge there.

Ndahimana's defence case opened on January 17.

He was arrested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on August 10, 2009 and then transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha. His trial opened on September 6, 2010.

ER/GF

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