Arusha 13th April (FH) - The joint trial of the ring leaders of the "hate media" has been scheduled for June 5th, according to the judicial calendar released by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The accused include former director of Radio-Television libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), Ferdinand Nahimana, and former editor of the extremist newspaper "Kangura", Hassan Ngeze.

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Former director of political affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and member of the board at RTLM. , Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, may be joined to the group, if by then the ICTR has granted leave for joiner to the prosecution. On March 31st, the ICTR Appeal Chamber reviewed its decision of 3rd November ordering Barayagwiza's release on procedural grounds and ruled that he remains in detention and faces trial at the Tribunal. He will make a supplementary initial appearance before the court on April 18th, to three new counts brought against him by the prosecutor. His amended indictment has nine counts, instead of six initially. The Prosecution believes the accused were responsible for inciting genocide against the Tutsis and the massacre of members of the opposition that left over half a million dead, between April and June 1994. "Certain members of President Habyarimana's entourage created hate media with the express intention of ensuring a broad diffusion of calls to ethnic violence and exerting a profound influence over the Rwandan population. The creation of the newspaper Kangura and the Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines are believed to have been an important part of this strategy. Starting in 1993, Tutsis and political opponents were targeted, clearly identified and then terrorised by the media. Some of the targets were later to become the first victims of the April 1994 massacre", the Prosecutor alleges. Originally, there were four defendants charged in this trial but the Italian-Belgian Georges Ruggiu, former journalist with RTLM, was withdrawn. Ruggiu is said to be confessing and is believed to be willing to plead guilty. AT/CR/TR/PHD/FH (ME%0413E)