Arusha, February 23, 2011 (FH) - A witness testifying on Wednesday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) claimed that former mayor of Kivumu commune Grégoire Ndhaimana was himself hiding during the 1994 genocide.

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Ndahimana is charged for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, notably for a massacre perpetrated on April 16, 1994 at Nyange Parish, a catholic church in his hometown where 2,000 Tutsi refugees were killed.

The witness, a woman code-named BX3, rejected the allegation, stating that he was at the time hiding because the killers were also "looking after him".

During her cross-examination by Althea Alexis-Windsor from the Office of the Prosecutor, witness BX3 - speaking in Kinyarwanda -  admitted that the accused officially kept his post until he fled in July, but she added that in reality he had lost control over the situation.

Since the opening of his case on January 17, Ndahimana has been trying to prove that he had lost his authority as a mayor and that Kivumu was under total control of Interahamwe.

Born in 1952, Ndahimana 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.


© Hirondelle News Agency