The Hague, August 21, 2011 (FH) - A witness testifying on Thursday in defence of Mathieu Ngudjolo assured that the accused was not in Bogoro (Ituri, Eastern DRC) the day the village was attacked.

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Mathieu Ngudjolo, a former leader of the Front des nationalistes et intégrationnistes (Front of the Nationalists and  Integrationists, FNI), is charged with three crimes against humanity and seven war crimes, notably for his alleged role - alongside Germain Katanga - in the attack of Bogoro on February 24, 2003 when over 200 people were killed.

According to the witness testifying anonymously, Ngudjolo, a male nurse working at Kambutso care center, was delivering a baby with the help of a midwife when the attack took place.

"I left my house in the morning. When I arrived at the care center, I found there the midwife and Mathieu Ngudjolo. When the fire fight in Bogoro intensified, at around 9.00 am, I went to the top of the hill from where many other people were already watching what was happening [in the village]".

He then explained that he returned to the Care Center when the fighting in Bogoro abated, to find that the new born was dead. At that point, Ngudjolo and the midwife were still there, he added.

On Friday morning, the Defence started to hear a third witness, who used to be the defendant's school director.

Hearings will resume on Tuesday.

Ngudjolo was transferred to the ICC on February 7, 2008. His trial opened on November 24, 2009.


 © Hirondelle News Agency