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Alleged Mastermind of Rwandan Genocide Testifies at War Crimes Court

The man accused of masterminding Rwanda's 1994 genocide says the accusation a malicious attempt to destroy his name.

Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, the former director of Rwanda's Defense Ministry, began testifying Monday before a United Nations war crimes court in Tanzania. He denied planning the government-sponsored killing of some 800,000 minority Tutsis and their Hutu sympathizers.

The prosecution says Colonel Bagosora ordered military commanders to start the killings shortly after President Juvenal Habyarimana was killed in a plane crash in April of 1994.

Colonel Bagosora is being tried with three military codefendants on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The U.N. Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in November, 1994. It has so far convicted 22 people and acquitted three others.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.