"Col. Bagosora circumvented me. He gave orders to some unit commanders who had to receive the orders directly from the Chief of Staff," Gen. Gatsinzi, who was appointed to the post on late night of April 6,1994, told the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
The minister alleged further that during the period even after his appointment to the post there were acts of violence committed outside the camp and commander of Kigali military sector had told him that there were soldiers who received orders outside the military hierarchy.
"Bagosora had a walkie-talkie. He communicated directly with commanders of the Para-battalion and presidential guard. There was a parallel network within the ministry coordinated by Bagosora," the witness told the Chamber presided over by Judge Patrick Robinson.
The witness gave another example of orders in which Bagosora, former Director of Cabinet of the Defence Ministry, had sidelined him included transfer of funds of the national bank from Kigali to Gitarama. He said Bagosora issued orders to unit commander in Kigali and such funds were transferred without his knowledge.
When asked by the judges on whether he had taken such matter to Bagosora, the witness was quick to respond, "Bagosora avoided me." The judges further wanted to know from him whether he had any ill feelings to him as a result of such circumvention. He simply said, "I was absolutely disappointed."
Doubting the authenticity of the witness's testimony, Bagosora lead counsel Raphael Constant wanted to know from where he had got information about the "parallel network" allegedly coordinated by his client. Gen. Gatsinzi said he had received such information from an officer in the ministry of defence.
Gatsinzi also accused Bagosora of being behind his attempted assassination on April 7, 1994 as he was arriving in Kigali from Butare town to assume his new post. After he was informed of the RPF as the ones who had shot him, the witness said he ordered a troop to go and fight them, but that was not implemented.
Asked by the counsel why there was such attempt whereas his client was the one who had proposed his name to the post, the witness responded, "I will be surprised. Bagosora had proposed the name of (Augustin) Bizimungu, but officers refused because he was junior colonel who had just been promoted."
The witness also testified on the command responsibility Bagosora had between April 7 and 9, 1994 saying, "As I have said, he was Director of Cabinet of Ministry of Defence. Under him were Chief of Staff of the Army and Chief of Staff of Gendarmerie and all other institutions like military schools and courts fall under them."
He said that all members of army were answerable to the Minister of Defence whose duties were replaced by Bagosora as the Director of Cabinet on his absence. "Bagosora was in the high rank. He was obeyed as he represented the Minister of Defence, who was not present at the time," the witness said.
Gen. Gatsinzi was testifying as a Chamber witness during hearing of the appeal in the case involving Bagosora, who is considered the mastermind of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and Lieutenant-Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, former commander of the military sector of Gisenyi (northern Rwanda). The duo was each sentenced to life imprisonment on December 18, 2008, for genocide, among other crimes.
© Hirondelle News Agency