•Accuses ICTR defence attorneys of conniving with French judge
KIGALI - Barely days after the latest witness in the controversial Bruguiére case distanced himself, Richard Mugenzi, has threatened to take legal action against the French judge for wrongly attributing to him things he never said.
Mugenzi, who was considered a key witness in the case filed by French judge Jean Louis Bruguiére, was working as a telecommunications operator (signaller) for the former government army.
Bruguiére alleges that Mugenzi intercepted communication from the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA) frequencies and the information he got was linking them to the downing of the plane carrying former president Juvenal Habyarimana.
“It is very surprising when the man refers to me as his witness.
It becomes even more disturbing when he attributes to me things I never said at all. For a person like the judge who should be more conversant with the law, this is rather unfortunate,” said Mugenzi during an interview with The New Times yesterday.
Mugenzi said that he was under the witness protection unit of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for ten years helping the prosecution.
“Am seriously thinking about suing this judge,” he told The New Times.
He accused Bruguiére of being unethical by revealing his identity which had been kept under wraps for a decade, saying that this would put his life in danger.
“I was in a protective custody for all those years and this man just went ahead to reveal my identity, when I am not even his witness…what guarantee does he give me?” questioned Mugenzi.
He said that he never met the judge for even a single minute.
“The only people I met were a group of investigators he sent to meet me in Arusha, and whatever they wrote in the report they gave the judge were just fabrications,” he said.
“I only talked of a memo I fabricated for propaganda purposes, claiming that I had intercepted communication from the RPA saying that they had a hand in the shooting. But this, I told them, was a fabricated memo.”
Mugenzi said that he explained to the investigators, whom he claim to have met in the office of the ICTR prosecutor, that the memo was drafted for propaganda purposes, telling them the whole thing was just made up.
“They never considered what I told them, it is like they had already made up their minds when they met me, they just needed confirmation that I had indeed drafted the memo,” he accused.
The French judge has widely been condemned for the manner in which he conducted the investigations that he based his indictments on nine senior government officials.
Mugenzi said that he came back to Rwanda last year allegedly to ‘try and expose the judge’ on his indictment that he maintains is based on falsehoods.
Bruguiere—ICTR defence connection
Meanwhile, the witness said that Bruguiére came to know about his testimonies through his communication with defence lawyers at the tribunal.
They have a strong connection between the lawyers, Bruguiére and some other Rwandans living abroad, especially those suspected of having played a role in the 1994 Genocide,” he said.
He said that he was still ‘consulting’ to get a better option on which course of action he will take.
Mugenzi became the fourth person to retract his testimony since the indictments were issued in November 2007.