Since the witness who was heard during the last session is feeling unwell, the Court has sworn in anonymous witness KAB066, who also participated via Livestream from Arusha. He was an MRND member and Interahamwe.
The prosecution, represented by Mr. Rosenzweig, summarized his witness statement, in which the witness explained having listened to RTLM prior to the Genocide, where they degenerated the Tutsi and sensitized the Interaharamwe and Impuzamugambi to kill the Tutsi. Ahead of the genocide, witness KAB066 attended rallies and meetings where the message was to unite against the Tutsi. At the beginning of the genocide, the witness helped offload traditional weapons which he was informed were purchased by Kabuga.
These weapons were later used to commit crimes in Gisenyi the witness testified that he also helped offload military-type weapons imported from Goma such as grenades, Kalashnikovs, and ammunition. In 1994, the witness began killing Tutsi together with other Interahamwe, because he was convinced that the Tutsi were responsible for the death of the president. Further, the witness testified about the Commune Rouge where Tutsi were killed. The witness explained that among the people killed there were nuns and young children and that two vehicles, provided by Kabuga were used to carry their bodies.
After summarizing the witness stated, Mr. Rosenzweig asked the witness about who had organized and attended the rallies he went to ahead of the genocide. The witness explained that in Gisenyi, they were organized by political parties such as the CDR or the MRND, whose representatives attended the rallies. The youth wing of the MRND, the Interahamwe also attended those meetings.
The Prosecution then turned to the effect of RTLM broadcasts on the witness’ conduct during the genocide and started by asking how often the witness listened to RTLM. KAB066 explained that RTLM was the radio for young people and was the only radio they listened to. The witness listened to it non-stop, taking his radio with him even when he went to bars.
He explained that he especially enjoyed listening to Kantano and that they understood that the Tutsi was evil and a bad person, so they hated them.
The witness continued by saying that during the RTLM broadcasts, it was said that Tutsis had always tortured Hutus and that they understood that Tutsis will come and kill them, so they had to kill them first. Replying to the Prosecution’s question on how these broadcasts made the witness feel, he said that he was really excited about it and that he could not even look at a Tutsi.
The radio was telling them to hate Tutsis, so they hated them. The Prosecution’s last question was if the witness thought that listening to RTLM had an effect on him killing Tutsis during the genocide, to which the witness responded “of course!”. He explained that listening to RTLM had greatly influenced his conduct and led him to participate in the genocide by killing Tutsis, although he got along well with them. He continued by saying that they all thought that RTLM was telling the truth. The witness then added: “I ask for forgiveness from all the Tutsi families and the government and all Rwandans for all those bad things I committed due to RTLM and the political parties who told us Tutsis are evil and that we had to kill them.”
The trial of Kabuga Félicien started on September 29th, 2022 in The Hague courtroom of the Residual Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals. The accused is charged with six counts: One count of Genocide, one count of Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Genocide, and Three counts of Crimes Against Humanity, namely Persecution on political grounds, Extermination, Murder.