Trial to shed light on hitmen's backers

First a gunman shot the exiled Rwandan army general. When he survived, prosecutors say the people who wanted him dead plotted to strangle him in his South African hospital bed.

Prosecutors in the trial of the men accused of the attempted murder won't say whether they believe Rwandan President Paul Kagame's government was behind the attack. But yesterday as the trial began, they disclosed that key witnesses are under special protection.

Three Rwandans and three Tanzanians are accused of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and other charges in Lt-Gen Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa's shooting in South Africa in June 2010. They deny the charges.

Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams refused to say yesterday whether his case would implicate the Rwandan government.

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