Arusha, February 23, 2011 (FH) - Genocide-accused and former Rwandan Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana Wednesday met face to face with a person he allegedly ordered to be shot dead but survived the fatal bullets during the 1994 massacres.

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‘'I lost consciousness. When I woke up I found myself in a pool of blood'' witness code-named ‘'ZAV'' narrated before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Led in his examination in-chief by the prosecution attorney, Drew White, the witness explained that at the end of April 1994, his friend and himself, both students at the National University of Rwanda in Butare, were heading to the Non-Commissioned Officers School (ESO) to meet a friend when they were arrested at a roadblock.

They had just passed the roadblock when Captain Nizeyimana - in a vehicle with a female soldier - stopped them and ordered them to return to the check-point. Nizeyamana said they were "Inkontanyi" and ordered the soldiers at the roadblock to kill them.

‘'My friend tried hard to persuade them by giving money to spare us but they refused,'' the witness recalled.

They were then taken about 100 meters away from the check point into a nearby forest where they were shot. ‘'I was in front of my friend. They shot me in the arm, in the stomach and in another part of the body,'' he explained, sobbing.

"My friend died on the spot. When I gained consciousness I had to abandon my friend in the forest to avoid being eaten by dogs,'' he explained.

He said he ended up hiding into a bus until the next morning, when he was taken to a hospital for treatment.

At times the witness could not proceed with his evidence as he sobbed bitterly compelling the Presiding Judge Lee Muthoga to advise him to recompose himself and continue with his testimony.

The accused, Capt. Nizeyimana sat in the court room expressionless as witness ZAV gave his evidence.

The defence led by John Philpot took over for cross examination in closed session.      

The prosecution case continues Thursday. Capt. Nizeyimana is charged with genocide, extermination, murder and rape. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.


© Hirondelle News Agency