Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Friday 19 December  
International Justice Tribune
Arusha, Tanzania
Arusha, Tanzania

Where was Alfred Musema ?

Published on : 31 May 2001 - 11:00pm | By International Justice Tribune
More about:

On may 24th, the former director of the Gisovu tea factory completed the description of his movements during the genocide. Alfred Musema outlined his activities in Rwanda from June 17th and July 25th, after which date he left the country for good. Once again, he condemned the genocide, reiterating that he had never taken part in « this criminal undertaking » and declared that he joined with others in « mourning » the victims. June 17th Alfred Musema left Gisovu and again went to see his family in Shagasha. This time, he was driving a Daihatsu van which was big enough to carry the tyres and petrol that he planned to buy in Cyangugu. He was accompanied by a gendarme. A memo issued by the commander of the gendarmerie camp in Kibuye was filed as evidence to the court, confirming that corporal Ndindabahizi had indeed left on that date. The return date of June 20th was also written. The defence also brought out a cash receipt for some 1,200,000 Rwandan francs taken from the factory funds for « the purchase of supplies ». A further document was filed in the form of a hand-written note on the page of a diary penned by the director of the Magerwa, the head of the commercial delegation sent to the Zaire border at the beginning of June, which had been left with Alfred Musema's wife before the latter arrived in Shagasha. On the 18th, Musema went to Cyangugu to pick up the supplies, and left the next day for Kitabi and Gikongoro to visit his parents-in-law. He made a final trip to Rubona and spent the night in Gikongoro.

June 20th After stopping off at Shagasha, Alfred Musema made his way back to Gisovu, having received a message from the director of the Magerwa asking him to meet him in Gisenyi. The director went first to Gisovu.
June 21st Musema arrived at around 6 p.m. and was to stay in the north-western préfecture until the night of June 27th. « I had to deal with two major tasks - finalising the exportation [of tea] and getting funds for the factory, since the bank had moved from Kigali to Gisenyi. I also bought a few things for the factory. » Worried about his future and that of his family, Alfred Musema also took the opportunity of « contacting people from the outside ». More evidence was filed in the form of a letter to friends living in Switzerland, dated June 23rd in Gisenyi. « What a joy, what great joy, it was for us to receive your letter four days ago » wrote Alfred Musema, who pointed out that he had received it in Shagasha. « And yes, look where this odyssey has taken us. We had to abandon Butare because the fighting was only 15 kilometres away. We just upped and left in all the disarray, and I thought the best thing was to go somewhere near a border. The five of us are squashed into a small room here but it's far better than thousands of people who are having to sleep rough. Thank you for the small donation. The envelope had been opened on its way to us, but the most valuable things were your letters. A word on the situation in the country - events have taken more than a turn for the worse, with the RPF advancing rapidly. The national army and civilian militia have been putting up resistance, especially in Kigali, and the town is not yet in the hands of the RPF. The districts of Remera, Kicukiro, Kacyiru have been taken by the RPF as well as Kigali airport and the military camp in Kanombe. The RPF have changed their strategy and are pounding the whole town with gunshot from Katyoucha (sic). Human and material loss is huge. The hospitals and Red Cross centres have been shelled, as have many buildings in the shopping centres of Kiyovu and Nyamirambo - disaster is everywhere. The town has no more water or electricity and food and medicine are in scarce supply. The looting is beyond all reasonable limits. Of course, there are no expatriates left, and even the last of the missionaries have fled. The fighting in Kabgayi caused many victims including the bishops of Byumba and Kabgayi, the archbishop of Kigali and ten other priests all massacred by the RPF. »

In Gisenyi « there was general euphoria »

Alfred Musema had drawn a diagram in the letter showing the front line. He continued: « On a human level, the massacres in both camps continue, especially in the RPF-controlled zone where the word 'pity' no longer exists. Thousands of people are gathered together and then killed with machine guns or grenades. The survivors are fleeing westwards and eastwards, which means that the towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu are flooded with refugees. I am writing to you from Gisenyi where I came to pick up funds for the personnel. Despite the events, the tea factories are working, mainly to keep people occupied. Exports are blocked and we're doing all we can to clear things, but it's not easy. As for Kibuye - it's about the same as the other places. Some are dead and others have either fled or remained there. The French troops have already arrived in Goma and even today some of them went to Bukavu. In the town of Gisenyi, there is general euphoria. Flags are flying and woman have put up banners of the French flag everywhere. Politically, it's a victory for the Rwandan government, on a national and international level. Dallaire should stop working here or should go. Ah yes, and the white journalist from RTLM is still alive as are all the other broadcasters. The radio was bombed but they had time to move it to what they call the »RTLM armoured car« . For now, we are determined to leave the country. We have 2000 dollars left and we're going to try to buy some tickets. In any case, if we can, we'll do Cyangugu, Buja [Bujumbura], Paris, Geneva. Claire will go with the three children and Aline. When I get back from Bukavu, Cyangugu, I'll do everything I can to open up a line of communication. The Red Cross route still seems to be the safest of all. »

June 28th Alfred Musema returned to Gisovu « following the French military convoys ». A letter from the bourgmestre dated June 21st, but annotated to the 29th by the director was filed as evidence. This concerned the request for a certificate of good behaviour for a Twa. Musema explained: « The affair of this Mutwa was quite a serious one. He had managed to infiltrate and be recruited as a zamu, that is, a night security guard in a part of the houses at the tea factory. People suspected him of having participated in the massacres in the region, and in particular, although we had no proof, in the killing of a lady cashier at the factory. It was unthinkable that such a man could be one of the employees of the factory. We sent him to the bourgmestre hoping that he might arrest him or bring him to justice. » Two other letters from the préfet Kayishema, dated June 3rd and 9th, were shown to the court. In the second one, « the préfet informed the bourgmestres and the heads of service that they had to contribute to the civil defence fund. We didn't take any action over this and did not contribute in any way » explained the witness. « I couldn't see what he was going to do with it, who the money would be given to ». « From the end of April onwards, there were broadcasts on the radio about civil defence. But for me, given the situation, with the massacres inside the country and the state of the armed forces compared to the RPF, the war was already lost. Then there was the genocide which had just taken place, which was still going on ». Judge Aspegren interrupted the witness: « Which genocide are you talking about? » « The genocide committed in Rwanda in 1994. I said it last time and I will condemn it once again. I cannot see how a préfet can come to visit me in the month of June, saying 'give us money for civil defence'. We already had the French military mission there, and even if he had asked me before then, I wouldn't have given it. » On a letter from the bourgmestre dated June 29th reiterating the orders of the préfet, Alfred Musema had written « to be filed ». « No action taken » he told the court.

Among the French soldiers The director of the factory did not leave Gisovu until July 24th. The presence of the French
troops, he recalled, brought « kind of lull to the region ». « This allowed us to work at the factory with some peace of mind. But there was one important factor. As was the case in June, there were lots of displaced people roaming through Gisovu towards Zaire. This caused a degree of instability. And the French had started looking for possible survivors of the horrible massacres which had taken place in the region . » A section of the French troops used the tea factory as their base, most likely from July 4th. An inventory signed by a French warrant officer was added to the file. « I had been building a church with a presbytery and I offered this to the soldiers to use to shelter survivors from the massacres » explained the witness. A letter to Swiss friends, accounting documents, production reports: the evidence piled up quickly. Another letter, this time from the directors of the Shagasha and Gisakura factories, dated July 18th, was sent after an incident which had taken place two days earlier: « In spite of the presence of the French soldiers, an incident occurred on July 16th which I know nothing about but which caused the préfet, the gendarmes, the bourgmestres, and the councillors to abandon the préfecture and flee in the direction of Zaire. » In the factory « there was panic. The workers asked if they could leave. Since I had no idea what the future held for Rwanda or the Congo, I told the workers that they could stop at the southern factories, near a border, which seemed a good interim solution. » Around July 20th, Alfred Musema sent a messenger to the factory at Shagasha to get news of his family. « When he arrived, he found the factory had been completely demolished.
I did not know where my wife, my children or the rest of the family were. I took the decision to go down to Shagasha to
try and find them. I left the factory on the 24th, crossed the border between Rwanda and Zaire on foot and travelled
blindly to Bukavu. Quite by chance, one of my sons saw me. » The same day, Alfred Musema returned to Gisovu for the
last time. In the morning, before leaving, he handed over his gun to the French officer. All production had stopped on

July 25th Alfred Musema left the Gisovu tea factory for good. In October, he arrived in Switzerland and was reunited with his family.

« They died because of human madness »

« The prosecution accuses you of having committed numerous violent acts against other people. Did you carry out any of these acts, Mr Musema ? » « Please allow me to say first of all, once again, that I condemn the genocide committed in Rwanda in 1994. What happened in Rwanda is beyond human memory, unimaginable, sheer horror.
I was personally caught up in many dramatic situations during the period, and I have suffered for this. I was faced with the horror of it. And even now, when I look back, I have real nightmares. I had friends, I had parents - they are dead. Why? It is an dreadful thing to say, but they died because of human madness. » « People died both in my family in Byumba - and I still don't know what has become of them all - and in my wife's family in Butare. My mother-in-law is Tutsi. Stanislas Muganza also, whom I worked with at OCIR-Thé, along with members of his family died. The brother of my youngest brother's wife - she too is Tutsi - was massacred at Gisovu. Employees from the factory were slaughtered, people were massacred in Kibuye, in other préfectures or in the zone occupied by the RPF. Frankly, this cannot be condoned, and such things should never happen again in Rwanda or in any other country. » « I can truly understand and am particularly emotional when I hear the survivors crying. Their tears are truly the tears of human souls. They are not crying for nothing, they are crying for things that happened. And I am with them, I support their tears and I support their emotion. I pray for their souls and for those of the people who died. Most of them are martyrs, they died for nothing. There were executioners - these people did not commit suicide. Mr Kay, you ask me if I took part in this kind of criminal undertaking. I tell you, once again, no, and again, no. »

The enigma under interrogation

The contest between Alfred Musema and his accusers and judges continues to prove an enigmatic affair. Faced with an intelligent and quietly-confident man, the prosecutors have resorted most often to a dual strategy of suggestive questioning and full-blown confrontation. Although the grey areas have not been clarified, some of the vaguer points have at least been identified.

The man defending himself is the dock is clearly gifted with great intelligence. There is a striking contrast between the Alfred Musema who holds the institution judging him in the highest, almost exaggerated regard and « another » Musema, clear-speaking and selfassured. For eight days, the accused left the bench to take his place in the witness box and face
the court. His pace was slow, his hands folded neatly in front of him. Before passing in front of the judges, he paused for a few seconds then bowed his head respectfully. The deference bordered on obsequiousness. A model of politeness, Alfred Musema was just as ingratiating with the prosecution, never failing to nod discreetly to the prosecution bench before sitting down in the dock. Despite the fact that those on the opposing bench took to looking extremely busy during the brief moment of contact.

Velvet and vigour

However, in the dock, beneath this meticulous propriety, stands a man whose extreme deference never undermines his firmness. He is a resistant man. His mind is alive and his thoughts clear and perceptive. His language - French - is precise and often rich, and when he employs the occasional idiomatic expression, he is rarely off target. Alfred Musema
concentrates hard and his replies are thoughtful and contemplative. When not required to read, he regularly takes off his glasses, showing a face which although not handsome or elegant remains very expressive. His piercing regard sometimes denotes unintended irony when coupled with a natural grin that gives the impression of a smirk. Faced with the accused, with his blend of velvet and vigour, and graced with a destabilising defence strategy accomplished by Steven Kay, the prosecutors have had an arduous task. Trial attorney Charles Phillips and senior trial attorney Jane Adong have divided the task of 'getting to the matter in hand', or to put it in a more civilised manner - the cross-examination. The judges have also regularly chipped in with their contributions to the crossfire of questions. Given the stakes, and the crucial nature of the testimony, such a game has often been rich and intense. For five days, Alfred Musema presented a description of his daily movements from April to July 1994. The precise dates involved were backed up by a plethora of documents filed as evidence by the defence. Charles Phillips attempted to exploit certain errors in the dates written on some documents in the file. In effect, several of these were not exactly « perfect ». Basing his cross-examination on statements taken by Swiss justice in 1995 and 1996, the prosecution's rhetoric was consistently ironical: « When you are asked *questions+ such a short time after the events, in 1995, you don't remember. But five years later, you do. Strange, isn't it? ». Unperturbed, the accused replied « There is nothing strange about this. Enquiries had to be made and research carried out to verify the dates. »

A « watertight » alibi

Taking the strategy to its logical conclusion, Jane Adong accused Alfred Musema of changing the dates to make them fit his alibi. For her, the witness was « playing » with the chamber, to which he replied: « This is about my life. I'm not doing this for fun. » The Ugandan prosecutor continued: « You waited to hear all the charges against you and then you prepared a watertight alibi to counter them. » « Thank you for saying that my alibi is watertight - it is supported by material evidence » retorted the accused, patiently, with no trace of animosity. Unable to demonstrate the alleged fabrication of evidence, the senior trial attorney resorted to referring to the admittedly radical discrepancy between prosecution witnesses' testimonies and the sole credibility of the file assembled by the defence. « Are they lying or are you lying? » was Jane Adong's brusque challenge. « This is an extremely serious situation we are in. Thousands of people died in Kibuye. I would not venture to lie to the court. I was not in Muyira. » Another approach -dramatic and somewhat dubious - was attempted: « Can you look the judges in the eyes and say that you were not there and that you did not take part in the attacks? » This was, of course,,in vain: « Madam, before the judges and before God, I swear that I was not in Muyira ».


The prosecution changed tack and took a more suggestive approach. « I put to you that you decided to leave on April 12th at 4 p.m. On the same day, members of the government began to flee, and left the Hôtel des Diplomates. Were you in that convoy ? » challenged Charles Phillips. « I beg your pardon, Mr Prosecutor, but this is not true. » « You left at 4 p.m. - that's very surprising. You left Gitarama on April 13th at 7.30 a.m., and on the 14th at 8 a.m. You never left at 4 p.m. before.
How do you explain that? » « I understand your point. This may seem surprising. But try and understand the situation. In the town of Kigali we were in the thick of the fighting. » « That's exactly why you wouldn't have been to leave Kigali at 4 p.m. »« It was about taking a risk - you took it or you didn't. Some people managed to escape during the night or at another time. I didn't plan it - I took the risk. » The whole scene began to resemble an impressionistic painting: the forms and shapes were beautifully mysterious but ultimately impenetrable. And the court seemed at times to be on a wild goose chase -when the man accused of genocide was criticised for the quality of the report on the factory tour assignment...or when the prosecutor sought to expose the lies or subterfuge in the fact that, even though the killings had started to ravage the Rwandan capital, Alfred Musema chose to climb over his neighbour's wall to use the telephone « instead of using the front gate »... Musema was not only an intelligent man. He was also extremely cautious. Once, when the prosecutor asked him to give the ethnic origin of the people massacred in the Remera district, Alfred Musema chose wisely to speak only of the few individuals whose ethnicity he knew personally. When Charles Phillips tried to prompt him further, asking « What did they look like? », the witness avoided falling into the trap, replying with his usual cordiality, « Mr Prosecutor, please don't make me sink into such errors of judgement ».

Strange support

One of the more baffling aspects of the case is how a man who describes himself as a simple civil servant with strictly technical knowledge and skills could have been in contact with so many ministers. And how he was able to receive, throughout the fatal three months of 1994, a succession of military escorts to guarantee his personal safety. Sometimes the explanation for this appears quite simple. « You received the help of soldiers. People knew that you were the director of the factory. But in Remera [Kigali, April 12th] people didn't know you and you did not know this soldier. That troubles me a little » Judge Kama confided. « It was my neighbour, Sibomana Phillipe who was really responsible for introducing me to the soldier, who told him that I was the director of the tea factory in Gisovu. The soldier was from Kibuye and he knew of the factory. We came into contact - that's how it happened » explained the accused, simply. At other times the explanation was more ingenious. « Do you not think that it is unusual for you to go shopping in Butare and on your way to drop in and obtain a soldier to accompany you to Gisovu in 30 or 40 minutes? » asked Charles Phillips. « Of course this is unusual. It was only because the commander accepted my explanations » replied the witness. Later on: « You were able to have a pistol without any training, without paying for the privilege of carrying it. You obtained, without any effort, a gendarme in Kigali on the 12th and also on the 14th. It's strange for someone who has no connections in the government, for a simple citizen » insisted the Nigerian trial attorney, before being told by president Aspegren to refrain from commenting.

« What do you expect me to have asked ? »

Another puzzling element of the three months in 1994 which repeatedly tormented the court, was the absence of any attempt by Alfred Musema to ask for information to explain the events happening all around him. Those who question him note that he never asked for any explanation, especially about why the killings were taking place. « Why did you not ask the soldiers *in Rebera+ when, why, how *the massacres were taking place?+ » asked the prosecutor. « It was difficult, sir. I didn't dare do that. When they came to ask us to bury people, it was a group of paramilitaries with civilians. We went to the plots of land and saw the horror for ourselves. I did not ask the paramilitaries why they had been killed. » Later, Musema added: « It was quite simple. I could not suspect that these soldiers had been the killers, and even then, was I really in a position to enquire, to make judgements? Sir, I apologise - I did not do it. » « Why didn't you ask them, since you didn't suspect them of having done the killing? » pursued Charles Phillips. « I didn't dare ask if they were the killers. » The question was raised again for the crucial date of April 14th, when Alfred Musema, who had just discovered the killings at Gisovu, met with the bourgmestre Ndimbati. « Ndimbati is the bourgmestre and yet you didn't ask him what had happened? You ignored the matter, didn't you Mr Musema? » « I didn't let the matter go unspoken, but I didn't talk for very long with the bourgmestre. » « Did you ask the bourgmestre why he was accompanied by the *armed+ 'Inspecteur de police judiciaire ' (IPJ, police officer)? » Asked Judge Aspegren. « No, I didn't ask him. » « These people who were representatives of the State came to visit you unannounced and you didn't ask them why, even when two of them were armed? » « I might have wondered myself but I didn't ask them. I was gripped by fear. I was horrified. I was in shock. I didn't ask. It wasn't for me to ask a bourgmestre for explanations. » « But by not asking, don't you think that you gave the impression that you completely accepted their presence in the factory? » « It wasn't a question of accepting or not accepting. The bourgmestres have the authority to go wherever they like in their commune. » « You had just seen the bodies of five high-level members of your staff. Did you not feel responsible? Didn't you bother to ask a single question? » insisted Charles Phillips. « Sir, I accept that. And there were not just five people - several were killed. When I went to the factory, it was out of a feeling of responsibility. The bourgmestre had arrived with the armed IPJ. What do you expect me to have asked them? Was it you who killed them? It was nothing to do with a lack of responsibility or regard for the people, not at all. » « I find that very hard to believe. Surely you have an explanation - didn't you try and find out? » « You are looking at this from a normal perspective of events, where, having discovered a dead person, I would go to the IPJ, call the prosecution and make a report. But I'm telling you that we were not in the normal perspective of events. I arrived with a feeling of responsibility and I did not lose this. I got there and asked the employees present what had happened. They told me that it was people who had come from Gikongoro and massacred the people. The IPJ, the bourgmestre and the teacher arrived carrying weapons. What do you expect me to have said to the IPJ? Go and make a report? The bourgmestre told me that he was restoring order. But what could I have asked him? If I had had the time, I would certainly have asked. »

I cannot vouch for others

Alfred Musema poses another difficult question for the court in that he does not hesitate to recognise the genocide. He is the only accused to this day to have pleaded not guilty and to have acknowledged the genocide before the court right from the beginning. Yet despite this, he rarely ventures onto the subject of denouncing the perpetrators of the crime. Or when pushed, as in the following example, he exercises extreme caution. Prompted by president Aspegren, Musema freely acknowledged that the people killed at the factory - apart from one - were all Tutsis: « How were the killers able to know that they were Tutsis? » « This is one of the things which confirms my belief that it was a genocide. They were killed because of their ethnic group. I have no hesitation in affirming this. If investigations were carried out, I'm sure that you would find the people who pointed them out. » « Who could have indicated this? » « Your Honour, that is difficult to answer. » « Did you not find out ? » « No, I didn't carry out that investigation. I am sorry Your Honour. » « So you knew nothing about the factory people who helped the killers ? » « That's right. I don't have that information. If I tell you what I heard, it would be hearsay, but I can't say for sure. The bourgmestre of the Gisovu commune apparently came to the place, but that's only what I was told. I am not certain of this. » Jane Adong, as if disappointed not to have received a guilty confession handed to her on a plate, joined in with her own questioning: « Were factory employees involved in the attacks on Muyira? » « I do not know Madam. I did not make enquiries about this. I had no suspicions whatsoever. To my knowledge, I don't know that any vehicle was used. But there were times when I was not at the factory. I don't have information. I cannot vouch for the periods when I was not in Gisovu. »

A bitter realisation

Turning to an issue related to the non-intervention of the accused, the senior trial attorney phrased her question to the accused in a most regrettable manner: « Can you tell us what, as an individual, you did to defeat the enemy responsible for the genocide ? » she asked. The defence lawyer sprang to his feet, appalled: « Enemy ? That's an outrageously political
question. Never in my entire career have I ever witnessed this. It reduces the matter to something that shouldn't be ! » spluttered Steven Kay. The prosecutor rephrased the question a little more modestly: « What role did you play in 1994 ? ».
Musema replied: « I did not take part or collaborate in the genocide. I have told the court what my activities were. I have no other actions to glorify. Unfortunately for Rwanda and for the whole of humanity, a genocide occurred. Many people could have helped, and some did. That's the point. It is a bitter realisation for me so I have no right to boast about anything I did *to help+. » But this failed to satisfy Jane Adong, who then presented the witness with a list of « suspected perpetrators of the genocide », suggesting that he should point out the authors of the crime that he condemned. Flabbergasted, Mr Kay rose again: « Who are we trying here ? Who owns this list ? My client is being used as a political spokesperson. » The prosecutor narrowed her ambitions. « Independently of the list, can you give us the names of two people responsible for the genocide ? » Before the Queen's Counsel could spring up once again from his chair, the president intervened for him: « I see no link with the indictment. This is more a matter for the prosecutor. » Jane Adong still refused to let up: « Insofar as he *Alfred Musema+ disassociates himself from and condemns *the genocide+ can he say who is responsible? ». The Swedish judge allowed the question but informed the man in the dock that he was under no obligation to reply. The man did not have to be convinced.


The suspense was kept up almost scientifically. On May 26th, prosecutor Jane Adong mysteriously began to enquire about the finer points of tea manufacture. A description was given of the delicate nature of the leaves, of the stains left on people's hands when pressing them and above all of the scrupulous drying process. Taken aback and at a loss as to why he was being asked such questions, Alfred Musema was precise yet concise in his replies.
« The drying itself takes place in dryers, either wood or vapour dryers. At the Gisovu tea factory, we used wood drying techniques. I don't know which stage of the manufacture you would like me to describe. Should I speak about the drying itself at the end of the process or what? I know the whole process, but to extrapolate on it here will take a long time. » The senior trial attorney lifted the smokescreen a little. « Mr Musema, what you do is to direct the heat from the fire towards the dryer, isn't that right? And you perhaps use a ventilator to guide the heat onto the tea? » The witness hesitated: « It's a whole system and far more complicated than that. There are ventilators and a whole mechanical system. » The time had come for the prosecutor to reveal all: « Mr Musema, is this the technology that you used at the Nyakavumu cave (1)? ». « I was not at the cave. The technology I used is used in a tea factory and not in a cave to kill people » replied the former director of the tea factory. Jane Adong reminded the court of the testimonies concerning the attack on the cave, exclaiming: « It is exactly the same technology that is used to dry the tea, is that not so, Mr Musema? No-one at the cave had scientific knowledge of your calibre. I stand by what I said, Mr Musema - you did it. Your Honours, this seems to me an appropriate time for us to stop for today. » The seriousness of the debates notwithstanding, those in the courtroom had a curious desire for a breath of fresh air.

(1) Towards the end of May, several hundred Tutsis took refuge in a large natural cave, at a place known as Nyakavumu. Their assailants blocked the entry to the cave and set it alight. Only one person survived, the rest died of suffocation.

AM faces I

Alfred Musema is accused of ordering the rape and death of Anunciata, the wife of the factory's chief accountant, on his arrival in Gisovu, April 14th, 1994. Prosecution witness 'I' testified against the accused on April 27th. Prosecutor Charles Phillips sought to challenge the version of facts given by Alfred Musema by referring to the latter's statements made to the Swiss judge. In particular his assertion of May 12th, 1995, some thirteen months after the crimes and three months after his arrest: « I saw one or two families killed and a few other corpses. It was dreadful. I had a terrible shock. I also saw the corpse of the chief accountant, Mr Canisius Twagirakayego. His wife Anunciata was killed on April 14th, right at the time we were at the factory. When arrived at the factory, I met with Mr Joseph Nyarugwiza and Mr James Barawigilira. After seeing these bodies, I did a tour of the factory with these two people (as well as the soldier whom I had been assigned) then we went to the guest house to take stock of the situation. We were then joined by the bourgmestre of the Gisovu commune, Mr Aloys Ndimbati. (...) People were shouting that they had found Anunciata. I shouted that she shouldn't be killed. Those who were with the bourgmestre ran towards her and they slaughtered her in her home. As for the child, the last thing I remember is hearing it cry out. I didn't see anything but I remember that cry. It happened not very far from where I was standing, about a hundred metres below, in a plantation of tall trees. » The prosecutor's representative turned to face Alfred Musema. « This statement clearly shows that it was clear right from the start who had been found in the plantation and that it was certainly not after the others returned that you thought it was Anu A five-month trial

In extremis and thanks to the defence lawyer's altering his British programme, the Musema trial will finally more or less keep to its fixed deadline. The last two defence witnesses should be heard on June 23rd, followed a week later by the closing speeches.


Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

RNW Player

International Justice

From the former Yugoslavia to Rwanda, Cambodia and Lebanon, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports on international justice. We offer background news and reporting on war crimes, human rights abuses and genocide.