Arusha, March 6, 2012 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Tuesday started receiving extra evidence from the prosecution to denounce the defence of alibi for ex-Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware over his absence in Rwanda at some point in time during 1994 genocide.

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A Crime Analysis within the office of the Prosecutor at ICTR, Massamba Ndiaye, became the first to enter the witness box to refute the claim that between April 21 and July 1994 the accused was on missions in several countries, including Senegal, France, Gabon, Swaziland, Belgium, Cameroon and Togo.

Ndiaye is among eight prosecution witnesses expected to testify to rebut the former minister's evidence of alibi. Ngirabatware, according to the witness, had indicated that as of April 30 to May 7, 1994, he had visited Senegal and met with several authorities during his stay.

Led by trial attorney Wallace Kapaya, the witness told the Chamber presided by Judge William Hussein Sekule that during those days the accused had alleged to have met with Senegalese dignitaries, including the Head of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Niasse.

The accused, according to the witness, claimed to have given some press interviews and obtained a visa from the Nigerian Embassy in Dakar. Ndiaye narrated that he went on mission to Senegal on three occasions between January 9, 2011 and February 1, 2012, to verify the defendant's allegations.

"Mustapha Niasse said that those allegations were false. He said he has never met with Ngirabatware before or after 1994", Massamba said, adding that the chief of protocol gave him a letter stating that the search he made in the President's office did not show any visit carried out by Ngirabatware.

Furthermore, the witness testified that he met with officials from the Nigerian Embassy, who responded that "the Nigerian visa stamped on the diplomatic passport for Ngirabatware was not in use in 1994", whereas officials of the public channel RTS found no record indicating any interview the accused had given.

The trial continues Wednesday. In the case, Ngirabatware is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and extermination and rape as crimes against humanity.


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