Below, is a “Note of Evidence of Paul Rusesabagina before the District Judge in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court–as a defence witness of four genocide suspects Vincent Brown aka Vincent Bajinya, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo and Celestin Ugirashebuja.” April 3 2008.
Rusesabagina: I live in Brussels since September 1996.
I was born in Rwanda in Gitarama on June 15 1954.
My father was a Hutu and my mother was a Tutsi. I went to school in the Seventh Day Adventist School, then I studied theology and then school in Kenya to study hotel management.
My wife is Rwandan, Tatiana X, born in Butare on 24 October 1958.
She is Tutsi.
I come from South-Central Rwanda.
Before 1994 I was a hotel manager working for the Sabina company. Sabina is a Belgian airline company.
I got my first job in 24 June 1979 from school – 1 year later I went back to hotel management school. Then from 1984 – 1995 I worked as a hotel manager. Since I resigned I have been doing my own businesses.
Q. Where were you in April 1994?
A: From the 6th April 1994 I was working as the General Manager in the Diplomat Hotel which is today the Sabena Hotel. Then I moved from the Diplomat Hotel to the Mille Collines hotel. I had the government at the Diplomat Hotel until April 12 and then when the government decided to move I was told to come to the Mille Collines Hotel when the manager left (he was international) and he said there were already 400 refugees there.
In this period I had 1268 refugees were in the Mille Collines Hotel – they came there to seek security. None of them were killed, none of them were taken out and none were even beaten.
I believe that a human being could not have done anything in that period without the help of God and with a lot of acquaintances and friendships which had been created over the years, and the international community publicising the hotel. We managed to survive until the end.
There were all groups of people in the hotel – elite politicians, elite business men and peasants – people from the hills, housemaids, all sorts of people.
In 2004 a film, Hotel Rwanda, was made about this. It was up for awards. I also wrote my own autobiography ‘An Ordinary Man’.
Before the film was made on February 3 2000 I was awarded the Immortal Chaplains Foundation prize for humanity – I got in Washington DC.
I was invited by President Kagame to get an award in 2002 – for personal reasons I did not travel to Rwanda and did not get the reward. It’s hard to explain in English – but it was an award for bravery in connection with my acts at the Mille Collines Hotel.
Other awards I was given were the Medal of Freedom awarded by President Bush himself on 9 November 2005 and a week earlier on the 3rd I got the National Civil Rights Award from Memphis for being a humanitarian – this was at the National Civil Rights museum where Martin Luther King was killed in 1968.
Presently I do a lot of things – I have a trucking company in Zambia. I give speeches all over the world, a lot in the US and Europe. I have a foundation, the Hotel Rwanda Foundation. It started by helping a few people here and there before 2005, in 2005 I had a kind of public openness so it officially started in 2005. It is now involved mainly in education.
I have recently come under attack from the Rwandan Government.
The Foundation raises money through speeches I make and I call people and get donations.
The main focus is on education, paying school fees for young children, especially orphans from the genocide and the killing fields. We work in the Great Lakes region – Rwanda, Congo, Burundi and the foundation has also helped in Uganda.
I believe strongly that the best way to solve our problem is to help Rwandans round a table and say the truth and this is the only way – the foundation is initiating a Truth and Reconciliation Campaign. I believe that Rwandans need to say the truth through dialogue. This started in Chicago on 8 September 2007 under the patronage of Jesse Jackson. I launched this with Ambassadors Kruger and Flatten.
Q: Why did you leave Rwanda in 1996?
A: I was almost killed by a Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) soldier. I happened to escape just by luck. I had no choice but to leave.
Q: Have you been back?
A: In 2003 I went to Rwanda with the Hotel Rwanda filmmakers who wanted to make sure that the story they were bringing to the big screen was a true story. They did interviews with many survivors and colleagues from the Mille Collines. We had 15 hours of tapes when we left and interviewed 50 – 100 people.
Also in 2004 I travelled with my youngest child and 2 cousins to Rwanda. A cousin was just 4 years old when he left and I took them back to see their country.
Q: What was the attitude of the Government to your visit?
A: I had to leave because I was not safe. I left my wife and children there in Rwanda.
Today I am enemy no.1 of the Rwandan State, not of individuals, of the whole country.
The problems with the Rwandan Government really started in 2005 when Hotel Rwanda was screened. When Terry George and my wife went I was supposed to go, I had my ticket but at the last minute I didn’t go. After the screening that was portraying someone else as a hero – that hero was me – many people queued up to congratulate my wife.
The attitude was the opposite of me being a hero – Kagame first spoke of the Hollywood made heroes – that was me.
My wife was sitting in the audience.
This was 3 years after I was offered the award by Kagame.
Q: Is there a danger of false charges in Rwanda?
A: The danger we face in Rwanda is that any Hutu intellectual, and businessman or opinion leader is treated as a threat to today’s government. Many people have been facing false trials and many have been held in prison for 14 years without charges or trial.
I’ll give you a good example, Professor Runyinya Barabwiriza on April 6 had gone to Arusha with President Habyarimana. He was in Tanzania and stayed there until September 6th 1994. He was arrested with his wife when he returned and was put in prison. She died there. There were no charges and no trial and he was in jail for 13 ½ years. He is still in prison. I have copied of his letters seeking justice to be done – he is still there without charges.
Another person from my area was Ntunda. He was a teacher in a primary school. He was an influential person in the area. He was put in prison in 1994 and was released in 2007. He spent more than 13 years in prison. There was no trial and no charges. He was a member of the MDR political party and was a Hutu. I met him again after 1994.
Q: On p.4 you talk about the Bizimungu trial? How do you know what’s going on in Rwanda.
A: I have a lot of contacts that I do not want to give out right now because of many reasons for their own security. I can’t name names because they might disappear the following day or night after saying their names. I also have family members still in the country.
I also keep in touch with many NGOs including Amnesty International and many other humanitarian organisations.
Q: Going back to the Bizimungu trial.
A: It is well known and well documented. President Bizimungu was a member of the ruling political party. He was in exile, he never committed genocide but was put in prison for his political opinion. In Rwanda you are either an ally or an enemy of the government. If you are an enemy you are labelled as having genocide ideology, being a divisionist or a revisionist.
CM: So far I have yet to hear anything which qualifies this witness as an expert.
AJ: Since the Autumn of last year we have been inviting the Government of Rwanda to call witnesses to help the court on the question of fair trial in Rwanda. The fact of the matter is that the Government of Rwanda is refusing because it is too frightened to put witnesses out on the integrity of their system or because the Prosecution is too frightened to call them. You, sir, are presented with a request for extradition from a government with a questionable human rights record. All we can do is call witnesses of this king because the Government of Rwanda will not assist. My learned friend has never objected to any of our objective material, or the statement of this witness. Under the principle of Schtracks we are able to call this kind of witness because people are too scared to give evidence. This evidence is plainly admissible; it plainly goes to the issue of human rights as well as to extraneous considerations. This is the first time the objection had been put forward. The Prosecution is embarrassed because they will not put up any witnesses of fact about the situation in Rwanda. I have another ¾ of an hour. It is plainly relevant to the issues.
DJ: … this evidence is a question of weight.
CM: We have now had an hour of evidence which does not relate to his statement [said after 20 mins of evidence]
DJ: … most of it is background.
CM: He must limit himself… now he is asking what other people are saying. This is all entirely new.
DJ: …that is in the statement.
AJ: My LF is simply not right.
DJ: …I think we’re there…
AJ Q: What is the attitude of the Government of Rwanda to people who oppose them?
A: Not only President Bizimungu and myself are qualified as revisionists, negationists, having a genocide ideology, this is written in the new Rwandan constitution.
Q: On p.5 you say that witnesses were threatened and physically eliminated – you mention Theoneste Lizinde?
A: Once you don’t agree with the ruling political party you are considered an enemy and an enemy is supposed to be killed. He was killed in Nairobi.
Seth Sendashonga was a minister in the RPF government but then he was killed outside Rwanda after 1994. Many people were killed.
A business man called [name given] was also killed.
Those are people who were killed outside Rwanda.
Alphonse-Marie Nkubito was the minister of justice and was found dead in his house – there was no investigation he was just buried. In the HRW 2007 report you will notice in Rwanda people are executed when arrested. There is no need for the death penalty because of the actions of the police.
The former UN Investigator Michael Hourigan did an enquiry in 1997 and found evidence that the RPF under Kagame’s command were the ones who killed President Habyarimana and the President of Burundi on 6th April 1994. He was immediately suspended from his job.
Abdul Ruzibiza was among Kagame’s body guards who wrote a book called The Secret History of Rwanda. It details RPF killings. And you can see evidence on humanitarian websites of International Organisations including Global Family Rescue.
80% of the Rwandan population are widows.
DJ: I think Mr Jones that this is now straying away
AJ: I think I am invited to shorten your evidence, so we will not deal with your observations about gacaca because of Reyntjens evidence that those acquitted by the high court could still be tried before gacaca… moving on… What are the prospects of having a fair trial?
A: Bajinya may be held like any other intellectual and would be in fear of his life. He is in physical danger and there is a danger of execution. I have a full file on Professor Runyinya. I do not see any reason why if others have been killed that he and his colleagues would not be killed that way. The High Commissioner to the Police said to HRW (about extrajudicial killings) was that these people were killed for their ideology – they are terroristic by nature. They are killed because of differing ideology.
Q: What do you say about the general human rights situation?
A: I say that they have changed the dancers but the music remained the same.
Q: What do you mean by that?
A: I mean there were killings before 1994 and after 1994 the difference is the ruling ethnic group. Before it was Hutu power and people were dying. Now a Tutsi power and people are being killed. Either way the game is killing.
Q: Do you say that there was a genocide in 1994?
A: No reasonable person can say that there was not a genocide in Rwanda in 1994. But this is not a reason why we should not talk about war crimes and other crimes.
According to UN Res 955 of Nov 8 1994 the RPF has been qualified as responsible for many killings since 1990. They are also supposed to be tried and convicted. But so far none of them have been tried and convicted. If you want to reconcile you need to try both. And you need Truth and Reconciliation in Rwanda – I believe that people should sit down and be saying the truth – I am initiating the truth for Rwanda.
Q: Do you know Vincent Bajinya or have you hear of him?
A: I don’t know him and hadn’t heard he was accused until this trial.
Q: Valerie Bemeriki. We know her as one of the witnesses. Do you know Valerie Bemeriki?
A: I saw her for the first time – I had been hearing her on RTLM – on June 17th 1994 when the Mille Collines was attacked by the militia and army people – she said she had come for the cockroaches.
Q: When did she first make allegations against you?
A: It is very recent – a few months ago that she made allegations against me. At last year’s commemorations – that was when she was approached and asked to make a statement against me. She is a prisoner actually supposed to be sentenced to death but since now there is no death penalty she is maybe sentenced for life. She was approached and asked to make a statement.
Q: You’ve just said that you recognise there was a genocide in 1994?
Q: Would it be your opinion that it was Hutu killing Tutsis and the RPF killing Hutu?
A: The genocide is clearly defined by the resolution I have mentioned of Nov 1994 declaring that Hutus committed a genocide against Tutsis. This is the one I spoke about.
Q: Is it also clear to you that there was large-scale killing of Hutu by the RPF?
A: That is also true as a matter of fact.
Q: Is it also a matter of fact that the RPF was from its origins predominately Tutsi?
Q: But there were Hutus in the RPF. You’ve mentioned 3 people who were killed following their time in government. Theoneste Lizinde was he a member of the RPF?
A: He was a Hutu. He went into exile after 1994. He remained a colonel in the army until he went into exile in 1996. It is well understood in Rwanda that he fled because he was in fear of the Rwandan Government.
Q: Seth Sendashonga, was he a member of the RPF?
A: He was among the founders of the RPF. He was an RPF ideologist and a Hutu. He fled after 1994 in fear of his life. He was dismissed in Aug 1995 as the interior minister and stayed in my Hotel for 4 months. He feared for his life because he had fallen out with the Government. In the first attempt to assassinate him his nephew was killed instead. Then he was killed. A Rwandan diplomat who was the one accused of committing that crime – the Kenyan government wanted to remove his immunity – Rwanda refused – diplomatic ties were broken.
Q: Another name was Alphonse Nkubito?
Alphonse Nkubito was in the MDR prior to 1994. He was a Human Rights activist and was a founding member of LIPRODHOR. He was made the minister of justice in Kagame’s first government during July 1994, but he was critical of the justice system and would talk out about that.
Q: You were still in the country at that time. Were you aware he was critical of the justice system at that time?
A: I knew him very well and we used to have time and chat. It is believed that he was killed – he died in a very suspicious way. He publicly criticised the government.
Q: Does Mr Nkubito have any siblings?
A: I know his sister and I know his brother-in-law who has been in prison for more than 10 years.
Q: Does Nkubito have a surviving brother?
A: Damascene is his brother. He lives in the Netherlands. I don’t know his other name but I know him well.
Q: Do you know his full name?
A: I can’t remember.
Q: If I say was he N-T-A-G-A-N-Z-W-A, Jean Damascene?
A: Yes that’s him.
Q: You spent 4 years living in Rwanda at the time President Kagame was in control.
A: No, I left on September 6th 1996
Q: Sorry, 2 years…..
A: I spent two years living under Kagame and after I followed events in Rwanda closely. In 1994 / 1995 / 1996 the situation was very tense. You could see people being tied from the back, beaten and being thrown into containers, this is what was happening. There were the Kibeho massacres from 17-20th April 1996. So a lot of bad things were happening at that time. This is in Rwanda.
Q: You have been publicly critical of what happened during that time?
A: I have always been publicly critical. I have never kept quiet. During the genocide I never kept quiet. I said NO to the killers and after I am very critical of the current regime.
Q: Is your criticism partly that President Kagame is presiding?
A: Kagame’s regime is a model of dictatorship. He was elected with 95.5% of the vote.
Q: Is it right to say that the 85% Hutu population has been disempowered by Kagame?
A: Yes this is what I describe in my book.
Q: It is your view that the people who have killed Hutu are not held accountable?
A: Yes. And it is difficult for a person who is a killer trying someone else who is a killer.
Q: Have you been personally criticised by the Minister of Culture?
A: If you go to the Rwandan Government website his most important mission is to fight against me.
The President himself describes me as a negationist and a revisionist.
Q: Why are those terms used?
A: Each and every Hutu who do not agree with the Government is threatened and scared and is qualified as a divisionist and negationist.
Q: Is your book sold in Rwanda?
A: My book is not sold in Rwanda it is not allowed in Rwanda. It is written in English and not translated into Kinyarwanda.
Q: Is your film shown any more in Rwanda?
A: It was at the beginning but no more.
Q: You talked about intellectuals not being able to have fair trials in Rwanda and spoke about elite. It is your view that anyone of a reasonable level of education is seen by the present government as a potential threat if they have any opposition to the government?
This is what I said previously. Those targeted are Hutu intellectuals / businessman and opinion leaders. They are taken as a threat.
Q: Have you ever met Bajinya?
A: No I don’t know him. I have never spoken to Bajinya. The only one I knew was Celestin. I knew him as Mayor – I also knew him when he was wiring in the telecoms office before becoming mayor.
Q: You turned around and spoke to Bajinya when you were sitting over there. How do you know him? You spoke to him in Kinyarwandan and waved at him – what did you say?
A: No I don’t know him. I greeted him – I said “how are you” – I only know one person. I don’t know who he is. He was just the closest one to me.
Q: Before 1994 you were the manager of hotels?
A: I was the manager of 2 hotels. First I was the manager of the Mille Collines and then I was transferred to the Diplomat in November 1992. When the genocide broke out I was the manager of the Diplomat Hotel. Both Hotels were owned by the Sabina Corporation.
The Mille Collines manager was evacuated on the 11th April 1994. The Government also left that day and fled to Gitarama. Bik the manager in the Mille Collines was from the Netherlands. He left and that is how I went back to the Mille Collines. Before 1994 I was the manager of the Diplomat.
Q: You were personal friends with the senior figures in the Habyarimana regime?
I knew most of the senior figures in the Habyarimana regime. Personal friends is a little bit far – I knew them because of my profession. Each and every minister or general was not a personal friend.
Q: You held a black book with everyone’s number in the regime.
A: Yes it had numbers of influential people before the genocide and then RPF people after.
Q: George Rutaganda is a friend of yours?
A: I knew George Rutaganda. I grew up with him. We were friends.
Q: He was the VP of the Interahamwe?
Q: Did you see him in April – June 1994?
Q: He visited you?
A: Yes, he was supplying the hotel with toilet paper and beers.
Q: How often did you see him?
A: I can’t tell exactly how many times I saw him. More than 2 or 3 times perhaps.
I did not see him at the Diplomat Hotel. The Diplomat Hotel was occupied by the Generals.
Q: Did you know that he was planning the distribution of weapons before 1994?
A: No. I was not in his movement and I was not a friend of his. We were both MDR members before and then George left and joined the MRND. We had completely different political views.
Q: Did you know he had aided and abetted killings in [name of place given]?
A: Yes, I know he was accused by the ICTR. I was even invited to testify for him in the ICTR but I did not go and testify.
Q: Did you know that he arranged for roadblocks?
When I organised for Odette and her children to be evacuated they were almost killed. I spoke with Georges and he let them pass and with the children. He helped them cross the roadblock. That is what I know. I did not know about what he was doing. He was moving freely around Kigali and I was stuck in the Hotel.
Q: Did you know that he ordered people to kill Tutsis?
A: Myself I knew nothing about George. Our views were completely different.
Q: On the 11th April did you not know he participated in the genocide.
A: No we had not met yet by then (during the genocide).
Q: Did you know he is accused of the massacre in Nyanza?
A: I didn’t know. Maybe my brother-in-law was massacred in that group. He was massacred there.
Q: Have you read the judgement in his case?
A: No I have not read the judgement. What I know is that when I didn’t testify for him he wrote me a very long – maybe 20 pages – insulting letter.
Q: Did you know that before 11 April 1994, or January 1994, the Interahamwe was organised and armed and he was prepared to kill up to? Within a 20 minute period.
A: At that time there was even a list – General Dallaire says there was a list of 15,000 people who were supposed to be killed, even a newspaper Kangura wrote that the President was supposed to be killed on 5th April.
Q: Where was this source from?
A: Nobody, but everyone knew there was a list. The list is very well known.
Q: You wrote in your book that ½ million machetes were imported in 1994 and 1993, how did you know about this?
A: Yes that is true – there are many sources for that. They were passing through the Credit Documentaire – so this was not hidden – you can find that out because all the purchases are recorded by the banks.
Q: So you knew about these machetes being ordered at the time?
A: I found that out later on.
Q: How did you know that lists of Tutsis were compiled by Bourgmestres?
A: Again I learnt this later. Everyone talks about this.
In the genocide I found myself in a strange position – I had no uniform – I didn’t have a gun or a uniform.
Q: What was the role of the Bourgmestres before the genocide?
A: They were mayors of a given region.
Q: Would you say they had effective control?
A: Of course. Nothing would happen without them knowing.
Q: So during the genocide nothing would happen without their knowledge and agreement?
A: No not in 1994 – when the genocide broke out the youth of all the political parties mixed and became a kind of anarchy in the whole country. Many bourgmestres were killed.
Q: How many?
A: I know one bourgmestre that was killed in Kigali. I know there were more.
Q: Lets turn to another friend of yours – Theoneste Bagosora? Did you know him before 1994?
A: I knew him but we never socialised.
I spoke to him during the genocide on April 23rd. He sent people to try and get the refugees at the Mille Collines out. We were given a 30 minute deadline. I called Bagosora in the Diplomat Hotel in room where he was staying in room 205. It was 6am a good time for killing – when the offices had not opened in Europe and in the US everyone was asleep, so I had to call Bagosora and many others. I saw the Chief of Staff of police and I immediately phoned Bagosora and told him I wanted to close the hotels and leave – he was at the Diplomat. He said where does this order come from and I said I am the only person, I had a letter from Brussels. I said this is my decision and if you don’t go out I will lock the doors and close both hotels. He had held our truck of water for four days – he sent it to me that morning – and we came up with a compromise.
Q: Did you know Bagosora before 1994?
A: Yes. He had retired. He came back when the genocide started.
Q: Retired Colonel Bagosora was part of the arrangements for a provisional government after 6th April 1994?
A: It’s possible. On the 6th April I left the Diplomat until the 9th April. The Interim-Government had taken over the hotel.
I had taken the all the keys to the office. When they took over they did not have any supplies. I was called to go and open up because they needed services in the Hotel. They sent 20 soldiers to my home to get me.
Q: Did you know he had ordered the execution of his opposition on 6th and 7th April?
A: No – I wouldn’t have known this though. I was not in the government sitting in at the meetings – I was doing my job at the hotel.
Q: General Bizimungu? Was he a friend of yours?
A: We knew each other, not colleagues or friends, we were acquaintances. Yes I knew him.
Q: Someone whose name and number you had?
A: Yes I had his name and number in my black book. I would ask him for favours. I would ask many people for favours.
Q: Did you see him in April 1994?
A: I’ll give you an example, we met on June 17th when militia men were killing people in a Church where Father Wenceslas was the leader. I met Bizimungu to give him supplies for the militiamen. As I have described I was stock piling favours. While I was out meeting with him I heard that militiamen had got into the Hotel with machetes. I told Bizimungu and he came back to the hotel and that day he saved lives. He chased the militiamen out and said anyone who is killing I will kill them.
Q: That makes him sound like a good man.
A: To me I was not moving with General Bizimungu 24 hours a day – but that time he saved our lives and removed the soldiers from in the hotel – the time I saw him he was as a good man, not a bad man.
[handed Bizimungu indictment]
Q: Have you seen the Indictment against him? Para 27, did you know he had been involved in…
[starts going through charges asking if PR knows about the specific charges]
A: I’m sorry I did not know but I have learned all these allegations not to trust them very much especially when they come from the Rwandans. Claudette. I caused her to be evacuated from her house. First her and her younger son and secondly her… and the third time. She previously called me a hero but now says I am a negationist. What I say is from my experience these allegations may not be true.
Q: Do you accept that the interahamwe were trained?
A: Of course militia have been trained, by whom I do not know but they have been trained.
Q: Did you know he said he didn’t want any Tutsis to survive?
A: I never heard him say such a thing.
Q: Reads charges re 7-11th April – Acts associated with genocide. There was a military crisis in the Government – they murdered / sought to murder [people specified].
A: On the 7th I was not at the Hotel – I was at my house from the 7-9th April. So I don’t know what was happening even in the hotels.
Q: On p.9 he was congratulating someone for exterminating cockroaches. He stayed in his position through June.
A: I have never heard Bizimungu saying exterminate the cockroaches but this was supposed to have been done on the 7th so I don’t know what was done at the time. This is not the language of the Bizimungu I have known. I remember speaking to Bizimungu on June 16th – this is well described in my autobiography – What I can say is that I had a conversation with him saying what are you doing – you are leader of people who are killing, raping and looting, he looked at me very desperate and said Paul I know we have lost that war a long time ago. He didn’t say to me we haven’t been killing or looting or raping. He said listen I know we have lost this war a long time ago.
Q: p.12 Ndindiliyimana
A: He was a minister so we knew each other. He was not a friend. A friend is someone who could come to my house with his family, not someone who I would just have a drink with. This man I would have a drink with, I had his number in my book.
Q: Did you have a drink with him during the genocide?
A: I remember discussing with him that this was a time of war and soldiers know war. Why are you being appointed as a diplomat? He said to me Paul when the RPF agree I will go, in other words he was telling me they were losing the war so he was not going.
Q: you also saw him before?
A: Oh yes, I saw him many times.
Q: Did he mention about the massacres at paras. 71 – 73 of the indictment?
A: Even if we were meeting, we were talking about what is going on but he never talked about his paramilitary. If they were meeting and discussing this was amongst army people. This was solely for them. I was not supposed to go. I was the Hotel manager. Do you believe that even if you know someone they will come to you and say we are killing people – each and every person if they are a killer they present themselves as an angel. I know these people as hotel guests.
Q: You never heard any hotel guests talking about the deaths that were occurring?
I didn’t hear what the guests in the Hotel from the 6th – 12th April were planning – I was not there until 9th and then I was working – I was in the office. The people at the Hotel did would not have told me those things. They were Hotel Guests. I was a hotel manager, welcoming guests, but the ministers were not coming to tell me what they were doing.
Q: You say in your book ‘I saved more than 1000 people in the capital.
A: At the Mille Collines I helped 1268 people in the Hotel.
Q: In your book you write you saved them, had you saved them?
A: Well, saved them, I helped them, I saved their lives. In the whole country people who had gone seeking security were killed and in the Hotel people were saved.
Q: By you?
These people were saved by God – that’s what I believed – but god is helped.
Q: By you?
A: By you, by me, by all people.
Q: It appears that you are writing that they are saved as a result of your actions?
A: The Hotel was attacked many times. I was keeping them close to make sure I knew what was going on. When the militia and army would come around I would giver them drinks and find out if an attack on the Hotel was planned. The Mille Collines was hosting many well known people. It was known the elite were there so we would certainly have been killed. We were saved by Gods actions but helped by human beings. Among those human beings were General N and General B and also I played my small role.
Q: So when you wrote that you have saved those people you didn’t mean you alone?
A: I didn’t mean the Generals, because they were responsible for the whole country and all over the country people had been butchered and massacred by their army and if I had mentioned their names I would have sponsored what had been going on all over the country and I do not want to sponsor them.
Q: The main reason the MC was saved was UN Soldiers wasn’t it. There were 4 soldiers in the Hotel and they were the reason people were saved.
A: No, no. This is not true. Those 4 UN observers were staying at the hotel as guests. When the war broke out they stayed. There was one Senegalese soldier who was going to work during the day and coming to the hotel at night. UN soldiers were there at St Famille church which is about 500 meters from the hotel when people were massacred. Did they stop it? And they were there in the Technical College – but people were still massacred there. They were there at Kibeho – I have the pictures in my bag. They are standing there amongst all the dead bodies. You suggest that they were able to do different at the Mille Collines – no.
Q: p.304 – 305 of the Dallaire book. He says that the UN saved the Tutsis at the Milles Collines.
A: I would not want to be in the position of Gen. Dallaire with only 250 or 260 soldiers. The whole nation was in blood. There were 8,000 – 10,000 people being killed everyday. Dallaire was acting a humanitarian. He would save one here, one there. General Dallaire what else would he say a Canadian General commanding 250 African soldiers, I would not want to be in his position.
Q: Read passage – they fended off 3 large scale attacks and bombardments.
A: I can understand him wanting to say this but the soldiers were just coming to sleep in the Hotel. The solider was not even stationed at the Hotel. In fact that soldier was doing business. He was buying cars and planned to ship jeeps to Mombasa and Brazzaville. I saw the written contract. It is wrong to make a profit off refugees. I said to them friends this is not the time to be doing business…
Q: It would be wrong to make a profit out of refugees? Do you really think that?
Q: Did you profit from the refugees at the Hotel?
A: No. These are allegations which have come from the Rwandan Government in recent years once the film came out.
Q: I would like to show you some faxes.
[docs handed out- five pages which appear to be faxes]
13:00 – 14:10 LUNCH
Q: Is it right to profit out of the presence of refugees?
Q: I am showing you a fax which I suggest was sent to you saying that the Sabina management were instructing you not to put pressure on people to pay weren’t they?
A: Was there someone else who was getting those letters? These are simply made up letters. Mr Michel Houtart lives in Belgium, ask him if he wrote this letter. I did not receive a fax on [gives date]. I was absent from the Hotel until [gives date].
Q: Do you know Michel Houtard?
A: That was my boss.
Q: Did you receive a fax from Michel on 18 May 1994 saying not to charge the refugees who couldn’t pay?
A: On the 12th April when I arrived many hotel employees had taken over even the manager’s apartment. They took wine and the best champagne from the cellars and were celebrating. They were not ready to listen. I spoke with the boss and asked for a letter confirming that I would be the General Manager of Sabina’s interests in Rwanda. He wrote it on a machine. I never had specific instructions about payment. No one had any money to pay. They were fleeing with nothing.
Q: Did you ever take money from the refugees?
A: I never took any money from the refugees.
Q: Did you ever make them sign guarantees of payment?
A: Some of them wanted to sign guarantees. You see there was a problem with the rooms. The receptionist for example had taken over a big room. In other places there were 40 people in a room. So some people had the idea of signing guarantees of payment then I could use that to force people to share rooms.
Q: It got people to share rooms?
A: The first person to give that idea was Odette and her husband.
Q: Look at the handwritten document that follows, the fax dated the 19th May – do you see at the bottom there is a box and it says ‘p.s. the refugees in the hotel unite… please intervene with Rusesabagina. The hotel management demands we pay for rooms.’ [see fax handed out]
A: You are just repeating the allegations of the Rwandan Government. Where does it come from? It comes from that book, and that book has been made up by two families – one of them is the [gives name] family and his nephew Alexander. The nephew who testified for that book wasn’t even there. But he was given my land, he destroyed my house on that land. Today he building commercial housing on my land now and that is the person who is in that book. In this book they talk about a conspiracy in Kigali involving me. He is a made up witness.
Q: Turn to the fax dated the 21st May 1994 – in reference to the memo… we are writing to inform you that the director interprets the content of the memo in the sense of asking for payments in cash.
A: This is all the same – one of the people I helped from the Sainte Famille church – Yolande Mukanazana – she wrote a book – she wrote I heard that the European manager from the Milles Collines has evacuated and that a friend of mine has taken over. I wrote him three memos without answer… one day there was an officer from the army… that officer called her once, twice, and she did not answer until the third time when she answered and says it is me. She wrote that the officer told her the manager of the Milles Collines had sent him to escort her to the hotel (p.243). I have two nieces she said. She brought everyone, all her nieces… the following day, I put her on the list and she was evacuated, she was in Kabuga. It is a smear campaign. Recently she was holding a panel saying “we know our saviours, Rusesabagina is not one of them”. No I don’t accept this fax.
Q: You do not accept you demanded cash from refugees?
Suppose I did, who had cash? These were refugees fleeing from their homes!
Q: Did you ever ask for money from Sabina?
A: I did ask them and got 200,000 Francs, that’s Rwandan Francs, twice during the genocide and I was given the money. This was used for the refugees.
Q: You have told us you know Jean Damascene Ntaganzwa well?
A: No, not well. I know him.
Q: Can witness be given the list of witnesses that have given evidence for VB. I want to find out which you know.
A: Of course. He was Minister for a long time since 1981 until 1992 he was still a minister. I saw him in Kigali many times. In Rwanda we have three prominent hotels – Diplomat, Meridian and Milles Collines – they were patronized by all politicians and business men – we used to call the Milles Collines the business centre…. Those hotels were almost receiving everyone.
Q: Karemera says he knew Bajinya before going into exile, did you not meet Bajinya with him?
A: Maybe Karemera knew my name but we were not that close but I was not really caring about that I was working in the office. I was not always going out to see the people who were coming to the hotel for a drink.
Q: Joseph Nzirorera?
A: I know him, he was also a minister.
Q: Did you see him during the genocide?
A: I think he stayed at the Diplomat between the 9-11th April.
Q: What was happening in the Diplomat at that time was that the government was being formed?
A: I arrived at the Diplomat in the afternoon of the 9th April, the government had already been put up.
Q: What was Nzirorera’s role in that government?
A: He was not in that Government, he was a member of the MRND. A few other people were let in.
A: He was a former [gives name] political party. He was at the Hotel with his wife. To the best of my knowledge he was just the President of the MRND. I have never seen him playing another role. This is all I know.
Q: George Rutaganda?
A: We were both born and grew up in Kagire region but we had politically different views. When we started in 1991 we were both in the MDR but then he left for the MRND.
Q: Did you know that Rutaganda and VB studied together at University. Did you not come across VB when you met with Rutaganda?
A: No, when Rutanganda was at University I was studying abroad.
Q: You did know that they knew each other?
Q: It’s a surprise you have friends in common?
A: Yes, if they are ‘friends’.
Q: Ernest Rukanyira?
A: Ernest, that’s not a Rwandan name. I don’t know anyone of the name Ernest.
Q: Joseph Bukeye?
A: I don’t know him.
Q: Domitille Niragire?
A: No I don’t know him.
Q: Felicien Dufitumukiza?
A: No don’t know him.
Q: Emmanuel Iyamuremye?
A: No I don’t know.
Q: Gaudence Nyirasafari?
A: Yes, I knew her. She was in charge of a family planning organisation. She was from the region the President came from. Almost everyone knew her.
Q: She was a member of Akazu?
A: It depends… if we describe it that way – yes she was from the region Habyarimana was coming from.
Q: She is related to Vincent Bajinya, isn’t she?
A: I don’t know.
Q: What did she do during the genocide?
A: I don’t know
Q: Your wife was a nurse in Rwanda?
A: Yes she was.
Q: What hospital did she work at?
A: She worked at the central hospital at Kigali.
Q: Did you know that VB was a doctor there?
A: No. It was a huge hospital with very many doctors. I knew many doctors but never came across him.
Q: He worked for ONAPO – you didn’t come across his name in that context?
Q: We are told Bajinya studied in Canada- how would you get permission to study abroad pre 1994?
A: Well, many people could travel. Gitarama, where I was from, was seen as the region that was not favoured by the regime. I still went though. Many Rwandans were studying abroad from the late 1980s. In fact more were probably studying abroad than in Rwanda.
Q: But you say in your book that you needed some kind of patronage to study abroad?
A: That is right. When I was applying mu application was first refused. But when the director of tourism refused to sign a Swiss gentleman called Gerard? intervened. I went to see him and he said this young man should go to school. I was sponsored by the Swiss Government.
Q: Without a political connection would you receive permission?
A: This was not a political connection. The Swiss people appreciated the way I was doing my training. They offered me a scholarship.
Q: Consolatha Mukalabisa?
A: No I don’t know him.
Q: Jean Baptiste Ndalihoranye?
A: Yes I know him. He was in the ministry of education and later was the ministry of health.
Q: He says he knows VB – you didn’t come across him in that context?
A: They both come from Gisenyi – Jean Baptist is also from there.
Q: Well how do you know that VB comes from Gisenyi!?
A: Because you said he is from Akazu – isn’t that Gisenyi? It’s very simple.
Q: Jean Marie Vianney Nkezebera?
A: There are two. One working in BRD? And the other working for himself.
Q: This one was a member of the MDR.
A: Yes I know them both – that one, we were in the same political party.
Q: This one you met and you were friendly with were you?
A: No he was not my friend, we were the same political party but not friends.
Q: Patrice Nshimiyimana?
A: No I don’t know him.
Q: Nyibizi Michel?
A: I didn’t know him before 1994, but I know him from Belgium.
Q: Yvette Uwase?
A: No, the only one I know is my nephew’s wife.
Q: She worked for Praxis.
A: I don’t know.
Q: You don’t know where she worked?
A: No I don’t know.
Q: Joseph Matata?
A: Yes, I know him well. He lives in Belgium. He is still there and he was there through the genocide.
Q: How did you come to know him?
A: Matata is a human rights activist, he was I think the secretary of LIPRODHOR. Even now he is one of the most well known figures in the Rwandan community. He is an outspoken human rights activist.
Q: As I understand it you assert that the Government of Rwanda is making false allegations against you that you are a revisionist or someone that denies the genocide. Do you accept that you have suggested that the International Human Rights Organisations and the UN mission to Rwanda led by General Dallaire have been biased reporters.
A: Yes I agree, those are my views.
Q: That in the case of the UN they assisted the RPF and the NGOs have been biased?
A: Even if I didn’t say it, I believe it.
Q: Your view, which you have written to the ICTR and Queen, is that is it Paul Kagame who responsible for the genocide.
A: Responsible for the genocide is going a bit far. But if you go back to the history you notice that the RPF can hold some responsibility if they are the ones that killed Habyarimana and the President of Burundi. Sometimes the International Community think that one day people just woke up and started copping people into pieces. These things always begin somewhere – without going into how the Hutus were slaves to the Tutsis, without going into colonization or 1959… when war broke out in 1990 and the Tutsi rebels attacked from Uganda – they were recruiting young Hutu boys into their army and killing them. The result of that was that the whole country was more or less empty behind the zones occupied by the Tutsi rebels because people were fleeing. Many people were dying in camps, sleeping in open air, that created an anger, added to that the death of the President Ndadaye in Burundi – he was democratically elected and killed by the RPF in 1993. The region was boiling and killing the two Presidents was adding oil on a burning fire.
Q: I think you have also suggested that many people on the Roadblocks were Kagame’s people?
A: I am not the one that brought that up – if you read the Secret History written by a former lieutenant in Kagame’s army he says that. I am not the one that did. That’s someone else’s theory.
Q: I suggest the reason why you have reached the conclusion that the International Human Rights Organisations are biased and on the side of the Tutsis rebels was that they say the killing was in the hands of Hutu, rather than as you would have it the responsibility of Pres. Kagame.
A: The head of the Interahamwe was Tutsi. Why should we be surprised if some Tutsi killing at roadblocks.
Q: Do you believe that the people who tried to kill people in the Milles Collines were Tutsi?
A: No, Tutsi were nowhere to be seen.
Q: You have associated yourself with people like Pierre Pean who have expressed revisionist ideas.
A: I know Pierre. I don’t know whether he was a revisionist.
Q: You have appeared on public speaking platforms with him.
A: We appeared together in Brussels on 24th November where my foundation was initiating a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We need dialogue.
Q: Do you know that Pierre Pean is facing criminal charges of racial discrimination in France for writing a book?
A: Belgium and France.
Q: Does he propagate revisionism?
A: No he accepts the genocide, the only reason why Rwanda accuses him is because he also talks of atrocities by the RPF army.
Q: It also comes from William Church.
A: William Church is an ally to the Rwandan government. He wrote that because in my biography I called Hutus who are members of the Rwandan Government ‘empty suits’. That is why he rose up.
Q: He wrote it because as you’ve done in the court this morning, you were saying that Tutsis were killing Hutus and you were relying on a HRW report when you did that.
A: No I have family members who are still in Rwanda. I have many sources. HRW and AI they talk about independent journalists under attack [gives names]. Look at the HRW report 2007 which gives names of people who have been arrested and executed before they were brought to trial.
Q: What he is saying is that it is one thing to say people are being killed but quite another to define in terms of ethnic groups.
A: In 1994 I blamed Hutus who were killing Tutsis. I don’t see why after 1994 I shouldn’t talk about Tutsis killing Hutus. Shall we keep quiet in the name of genocide and not talk about killings… why don’t we call it by its name?
Q: The position is that the HRW report shows and the court has it, what is detailed there is the killing of persons in custody following a rise in tension in Rwanda following the killing of genocide survivors, that’s right isn’t it?
A: I talk about that, I talk about… [gives examples of survivors killed who he has spoken about]. The have been killed by both the DMI and others. That is why I talk about Kabera, Sebrenezi and other Tutsis killed in exile.
Q: Reads quote from Church: You make a point of… the HRW report does not describe systematic killings… it is a twisted reality.
A: How many people must be killed before a voice is raised?
Q: Do you believe in an armed struggle against Rwanda?
A: I shall never fight with guns. In my life I like to fight with words – words in a human being can be the best and the worst weapons ever. I have decided to fight with words and never with guns and missiles…. The person who suggested this is just like the Rwandan ambassador in 2007. When we initiated the TRC talking about dialogue he intervened and qualified me and the two US ambassadors (Flatten and Krueger) as arms dealers – he said we were meeting in Cape Town on Jan 17 2007. At that date I was in America and I never knew Ambassador Krueger then. [Described incident]
Q: I’m told you cannot be here beyond today so I need to move on – please look at your statement page 2, paragraph 5 – the first assertion you make is in respect of Guy Theunis?
A: He was accused of having sponsored genocidaires when he had already left the country.
Q: The position is that he was arrested in Rwanda having been accused of publishing articles from Kangura in 1991 – 1992.
A: He repeated maybe from Kangura but this was not why he was arrested, he was arrest being accused of having been in Rwanda when he had already left Rwanda.
Q: Kangura was a newspaper that published anti-Tutsi propaganda?
A: That is true.
Q: What happened is that he was released and sent up to Belgium who took up the allegation there.
A: He was released and is still a father.
Q: Do you not think you should have mentioned that he was released?
A: Why should I have mentioned that I was talking about the charges that were brought.
Q: Emmanuel Bagambiki. He was acquitted by the ICTR and charged with rape which is a crime over which the ICTR has no jurisdiction and the Rwandan courts do.
A: I don’t know what he was indicted for in Rwanda but he was accused of orchestrating genocide in his area. In Rwanda many people have been indicted. I am not yet indicted but I know it is the next step.
Q: He was accused of orchestrating Changugu stadium massacres. Do you know that there is a Belgian investigation about that very same allegation?
A: I don’t know what investigation has been going on. But Belgium has the right to investigate a person in their country. He was released by the ICTR – released from those charges and came to Belgium. Then they create new evidence.
Q: You say in your statement that Bagambiki has been convicted despite a lack of evidence but if you don’t know what he is charged with how can you say that?
A: Of course. The Rwandan government keeps creating charges, there may be more tomorrow.
I will give an example of myself. All the Rwandan refugees who came out of the Mille Collines on the 19th were interviewed by Rakia Omar who wrote Death Despair and Defiance and they paid tribute to me. Now 14 years later they are coming up with new allegations, so how can I know how the Rwandan government bringing up new allegations against Mr Bagambiki?
Q: Without knowledge of the charges you cannot know whether there is or isn’t any evidence.
A: If Bagambiki was released from the Court then he was acquitted… new allegations are coming up everywhere. You are released and then rearrested and they just come up with new allegations.
Q: You then deal in the same page with the criticism that the gacaca system was launched without the trained judges and as you describe it the gacaca courts are put in the hands of illiterate judges.
A: Gacaca means justice on the grass which was traditionally done by peasants about people who had stolen other people’s goats or cows. These people do not know how to read or write of know anything about the law. The gacaca courts are biased courts which treat cases the way the government wants cases to be treated.
Q. Gacaca doesn’t involve trained lawyers
A. I know and they can sentence you to 30 years imprisonment.
Q. It is not surprising then that there are no trained judges?
A. To me this instance is not the right instance to try the people who are supposed to have committed genocide. In 1994 the Rwandan government had 1.2 billion dollars for justice to be done. Many judges were trained – I know some majors who trained but they never took up office. These people never did anything of that nature so there was no good will of doing justice. Justice was stopped until 2000 when this idea of gacaca came up.
Q. You appreciate that it is recognised in Rwanda and the wider community that there are problems of providing transitional justice where large-scale criminal offences have occurred?
A: I appreciate that, but that is not a reason why nothing should be done for 4 –5 years while keeping people in jail.
Q. The gacaca system was an effort to do something about that.
A: I agree and if gacaca was not biased that would be fine, but justice has to be independent.
DJ: Is this really leading anywhere, I thought it was clear from what we have heard already that there would be no prospect of them being tried before gacaca courts.
AJ: Well Reyntjens said that there was a prospect – there are potential problems of double jeopardy.
DJ: Yes, but not immediately tried in Gacaca, perhaps down the line.
Q. You know that these men are to be tried before the Rwandan High Court?
A: Depending on which High Court, which government creates it……whoever is not a genocidaire is qualified as having a genocide ideology. When the government sees a prominent Hutu advancing up the ladder they are targeted.
Q. Do you know anything about the infrastructure that has been created for these trials, legal aid fund etc.
Q. Page 4 – the HRW report “There will be no trial”. In summary what appears in that report is that 20 detainees as a minimum had been killed in separate incidents over 6 months and the context of those killings was following several highly publicized killings of witnesses of the genocide.
A: I agree that many survivors have been killed and will continue to be killed – but I believe that each and every person should be tried fairly and not executed.
Q. Pasteur Bizimungu you describe of having been accused of having a party in violation of existing laws is that accurate?
A: He was actually accused of being revisionist and setting up a party in violation of the law. He was in the RPF but when he created his own political party and he became an enemy of the state. They said he misappropriated an amount of money but I have never imagined a president wandering with the government’s money.
Q. He was charged wasn’t he with offences in relation to national security and embezzlement of funds?
A: Being a problem to national security is speaking a different language from RPF is why he was charged
Q. Have you read the records of his trial that are held at the supreme court of Rwanda?
A: No but like anyone else I know that he did not commit any crime other than to create his own party……..false charges are created and false witnesses are made.
Q. Do you think it might have been sensible to look at the record of Pasteur Bizimungu’s trial before you make allegations?
A: Maybe I should have read the whole thing but getting it is simply not possible. You cannot get it from the Rwandan government. I met with his wife and we spoke about this and those created witnesses
Q. Page 5 – Witnesses are not only threatened but also physically eliminated?
A: Michael Hourigan says himself that when he came up with the evidence that today’s Rwandan government was the one that was responsible for killing Habyarimana……..he took it immediately to the prosecutor. He was supposed to stay in Rwanda for a few days but he was immediately called to the Den Haag. At the Hague they told him ‘Sir your mission is over, thank you’. So he was threatened and also by the Rwandan government and this would not be a surprise. Many foreigners have been killed…. he says he was threatened – have you asked him about this?
Q. You appreciate that this allegation has been considered by the ICTR and the prosecutor, don’t you?
A: But now it is for the public to consider. This report was brought out by Hourigan who was doing it himself.
Q. You don’t trust Hans Jallow?
A: I do not trust the ICTR for the simple reason that they did not apply the 955 resolution which said all war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide should be tried. But they only tried genocide. A million people were killed. Only Hutu’s were tried. This year that court is closing its doors…..that resolution talks about Hutus and Tutsis – how many Tutsis have appeared there – no one so I do not trust the ICTR.
Q. Do you think the ICTR was right to try who they have tried?
A: I think the ICTR at least might have taken a person or two or ten from the other side too. One million were killed. Including 100,000s were killed by the government army. Those who committed such atrocities should have been tried. They should appear in that court to show their willingness to render justice. The loser has been completely forgotten and criminalized and globalised as killers.
Q. So your process of reconciliation would involve no trial?
A: All masterminds should face justice, and all people would have to come and sit down as was the case in SA in a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for dialogue – in Rwanda we have never been given a chance to dialogue and sit down around the table. Tutsis ruled over Hutus for centuries – humiliating them. Then when Hutus took power Tutsis fled the country. When Tutsis took over Hutu fled the country and the Hutu who stay in the country are humiliated – this is not the solution. The only solution is dialogue.
Q. Do you think it is a good idea to include in your platform when you propose that a man like Pierre Pean (a man who is facing charges of racial discrimination)
A: All the extremists from both sides – and both, they are extremists – need to come together. Do you believe that all the extremists should be kicked away and not be part of the negotiations – or do you believe that all the extremists should come around the table and learn a lesson?
Q. Prison conditions. Do you know what facilitates these men would beheld in if returned to Rwanda?
A: I don’t know but the most important thing to me is not to be held in paradise or hell but, human rights. In prison in Rwanda all the prisoners are fed by their own family and not by the government. Their wives bring them food every morning at 10am – to start with those women don’t work so the wife will be in a sort of prison. No one can pay the school fees and so the children become street kids. It means if you have 10,000 prisoners you have 60,0000 extended family.
Q. What we are concerned with here are the conditions in which these men will be kept in Mpanga do you know anything about that?
A: Yes that is where I was born and grew up …..if they are sent to Rwanda is there any guarantee that they will stay there for ever? How about their wives, their children?
Q. Do you agree that the new prison in Mpanga represents proper facilities?
A: Yes I saw it a few years ago.
Q. I think that’s unlikely because it wasn’t built then
A: It was being built
Q. What about the holding centre in Kigali?
A: I don’t know the holding centre. I know that people are being held and tortured a little every day…. 1930 is an overpopulated prison – my nephew was in that prison for about three years.
Q. The situation of human rights in Rwanda in general terms is deplorable. Have you studied the Report from the US Dept of State?
A: Yes I’ve read it and it repeats almost word for word HRW.
Q. You disagree that it is improving?
A: What does it mean? If 100 were being killed and now 90 are being killed, what does that mean? People are still being killed.
Q. You have not been told about the allegations made against Vincent Bajinya?
A: I don’t know him and I don’t know what he is charged with. I did not come here to be a witness for him. I came here to be a witness for justice and human rights.
Q. None of the people on his witness list told you? Jean Damascene didn’t tell you?
A: I have not discussed it with any on the defence lists.
Q. If VB were to return to Rwanda he would face the possibility of death?
A: Just like many others
Q. These four will be extradited with conditions attached. Do you know the arrangements which have been made for the secure transportation of prisoners……?
A: According to humanitarian reports people are being killed by the police. The police are supposed to be the people in charge of security
Q. There are secure court rooms in the high court which would prevent harm?
A: I know
Q. There is no basis in fact for you suggesting that VB would be killed?
Would be killed, I would not put it like that but he might as has happened to many other people.
Struck from record:
[Q. Your knowledge of VB – we have a copy of a document which VB was working on when he was arrested taken by Mr Gary Flood – exhibit GF/2. There isn’t a copy in the bundle but I am content to prove it in due course – if you look on the first page he has mentioned the need to get in touch with you? (handed document and reads)
A: Not this – this does not mean to get in touch with me. He says the killings of RPF in the whole of Rwanda – this is written in French. This has been written by Lieutenant R and Paul Rusesabagina which he refers to as my companion of RPF crimes. He just refers to me but does not say he needs to get in touch with me. He is talking about the RPF killings –he is referring to my companion of RPF crimes
This was produced and filed in the ICTR on Nov 15 2006.]
Q. Handed document
A: Yes this is the compendium – I did a kind of compilation – including the 5 Bishops killed in Kabgayi etc…
AJ: It is item 17, bundle 2 of the objective evidence
AJ: It has been suggested that conditions will be attached to the return ….what would you say to the suggestion that whilst everyone else is kept in squalor these four would be kept in international standards
A: Knowing the Rwandan government they will be telling the British government that they will be keeping them in good conditions. Can you imagine keeping 50,000 prisoners and then having a few guests in a hotel? Can you think how long this will be for?
Q. Refer to the faxes dealt with in cross examination. Have you seen these documents before?
A: I have seen these before in a book which the Rwandan government wrote about me – a smear campaign – organised by Kagame, the government newspaper the New Times, every week they have a special article about me on the Government website.
Q. Have you seen these individual pieces of paper before?
A: No. I assume that these are made up documents – these documents are not signed
Q: Did you ever get memos from Sabena?
A: If we were to go to these documents and scrutinize them… The person who did this – the memos and the notes which I was getting were not notes from Sabena but from CIG which was managing Sabena hotels so those are the memos they are getting this from – I would get a written letter with a signature. It would have Michel’s signature. These are not signed.
Q. Did Sabena have documents in which they had the words Sabena and Memo and if so in what order did they appear on the page?
A: Mille Collines was the product it would have been the main thing – that’s what they were selling.
Q: The pages attached to it don’t have a fax header at the top?
A: No one could send any fax but me – after the 23 April when the lines were cut I was the only person who could send a fax. On the 19th May I was the only person who could send a fax – the fax line was in my office and that was locked.
These people would have to have been very courageous to write these words against killers.
Q. There is absolutely no prospect of the Rwandan Government telling us anything about this or where it came from so I have to ask you about it. What is this fax number?
A: SOS International is not possible – does not exist. There is no fax header on the top or bottom.
This is written in English – in Rwanda our national language was not English – we were French speakers – all our documents were entitled in French.
Our headings were not English – we were not an English speaking country then – we had everything in French.
Q. An indictment was put to you from Mr Bizimungu but no witness statements. Do you know the evidential source for the allegations set out in this indictment?
Q. Has there been any international criticism of your actions at the hotel other than that emanating from the government of Rwanda?
A: If you go to White House website President Bush says this was the only place no one killed etc.
Q. Have any international NGOs criticized you or suggested that the account in the film or your book incorrect?
A: No – rather I got awards. UNHCR and Amnesty International gave me awards.
Q. Some passages from Dallaire’s books have been put to you in indirect speech; is there any criticism of you in his book?
A: No it was not at all critical.
Q. It was suggested and put as a positive fact that the reason people weren’t killed at the hotel was because of the UN peacekeepers and you mentioned Kibeho?
A: I have pictures in my bag. ………there were UN peacekeepers standing there. This is to underline the weakness of the UN Peacekeeping mission. When 10 Belgian soldiers were killed France and Belgium pulled out and abandoned the people they were protecting in the technical college.
Kibeho was on April 17 1995
Some humanitarians say 8,500 were killed, the UN talk about 4,000.
It is in southern Rwanda.
I have photos in my bag if anyone wants to see them.
The UN soldiers were standing there with dead bodies – watching.
The UN soldiers had a weakness. The UN decided to pull out and they abandoned the people they were protecting.
Q. What do you say to the suggestion that it was the UN peacekeepers that saved those people staying at the hotel?
A: Those soldiers were not stationed at the hotel. Those four were guests at the hotel and they stayed at the Milles Collines and kept their rooms, they did not leave, one of them was killed when he left the hotel to go to his office.
Q. Is your evidence that the film is an accurate representation of what you did?
A: It is a feature film which is based on fact. There have been a few footages made a little bit less violent than real life….if it was to show the whole thing as it happened no one could watch it. My mission was for it to be a lesson – to talk to young people, especially high school students – it is a PG – 13 [US rating meaning that children of 13 + can go watch without parental supervision].
Q. Is the account you give in your book accurate?
A: Yes the real story is written in An Ordinary Man.
[4.15pm end of witness]
AJ: We only now have written evidence to produce – investigator is not coming on Monday ….on the basis of conversations with Mr Keith I have been asked whether or not I can advise in good conscience that he should be brought and I can’t ……if the court has not been notified then should have been.
JE: Explains witness X can’t come Weds but hopes to bring him Tues
AJ : Could my LF put together copies of the quotations she has put to the witness?