22.06.05 - ICTR/MILITARY I/BELGIUM - BELGIAN OFFICER ARRIVES TO TESTIFY IN SOLDIERS’ GENOCIDE TRIAL

Arusha, June 21st, 2005 (FH) - A Belgian army officer, Colonel Joseph Dewez, arrived Monday at the seat of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda where he will testify on behalf of Major Aloys Ntabakuze, former commander of the Para-commando battalion in Kigali.

Ntabakuze is jointly being tried with three other senior officers of the former Rwandan Army (EX-FAR).

0 min 44Approximate reading time

They include Colonel Theoneste Bagosora who is considered by the ICTR Prosecutor as having been the “mastermind” of the genocide”.

Col. Dewez was part of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) in 1994. He commanded a Blue Helmet battalion, “KIBAT”, which was deployed in Kigali.

“Dewez arrived last night”, Andre Tremblay, one of Ntabakuze’s defence counsels told Hirondelle News Agency.

However, the lawyer was unable to give a precise date when the Belgian will testify since another witness is still in the witness box.

Also charged in the same trial are Brigadier Gratien Kabiligi, former head of logistics for the Rwandan army and Lieutenant-Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, former military commander of Gisenyi region (northwest).

All have pleaded not guilty to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The trial opened in April 2002.

KN/ER/PB/AT