Arusha, September 20, 2011 (FH) - The debate on defence of alibi for genocide-accused, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana continued before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday with a new witness supporting his absence in Southern part of Rwanda between April and May 1994, during genocide.

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The defence witness code-named KEN06 to protect her identity alleged that she stayed at Nizeyimana's house in Butare prefecture between April 18 and May 2, 1994, but saw the defendant on only two days within such period.

"Within such period I saw Nizeyimana on April 18, 1994, when he found me in the house after my arrival on that day and on 23rd when he spent the night. He left the morning of 24th and since then I have not seen him again," she said in her examination-in-chief led by the defendant's Lead Counsel John Philpot.

She was testifying in a so called "Rejoinder Case" to contradict the evidence given by three additional prosecution witnesses in a "Rebuttal Case," who allegedly challenged Nizeyimana's alibi defence over his presence in Butare in April and May 1994.

The witness's evidence specifically appears to contradict the testimony of one of the prosecution witnesses, who allegedly hid in Nizeyimana's house with her family starting April 20, 1994 and left one month and half later. During such period, she said she used to see the accused or hear his voice.

According to the new witness, Nizeyimana was not present when she arrived at his house. She alleged that on the night of April 20 to 21, 1994, she heard the defendant's wife answering to the phone, saying she was scared because of gunshots that were coming close to the house since her husband had left for a mission in Gikongoro prefecture, South Rwanda.

The prosecution alleges in the indictment that within the contentious period, Nizeyimana was in Butare ordering, supervising and organizing massacres of Tutsis in various places in the region, including that of Tutsi Queen Rosalie Gicanda, on April 21, 1994.

Hearing continues Wednesday.


© Hirondelle News Agency