Arusha, November 2nd, 2000 (FH) - Rwandan newspaper Kangura was the voice of the Hutu majority, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. He was testifying in the genocide trial of former Kangura editor Hassan Ngeze, former director of RTLM hate-radio Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politican and RTLM founder.

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The second prosecution witness, dubbed "AHA" to protect his identity, said he was formerly a journalist with Radio Rwanda and a "close associate" of Ngeze at Kangura. He has been detained in a Rwandan jail for the last seven years, and was transferred at the request of the Tribunal. AHA said he began working at Kangura as a freelance in 1990, when he was still a full-timer with Radio Rwanda, and when Kangura was just starting. "Ngeze presented it as the Hutu voice," the witness told the court. "He thought the Hutus were naïve, that they did not see the danger they were facing… that is, being chased out of power by the Tutsis. " It was in 1990 that the exiled Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) launched a war on Rwanda from Uganda. Asked who wrote for the paper, the witness said Ngeze and his journalists, but that Ngeze could get "lots of other articles" which were not signed by their authors and which were often by political figures in the entourage of former president Juvénal Habyarimana. Asked how he knew the authors if the articles were anonymous, the witness replied that "Hassan Ngeze was presented as a prophet or a visionary. But he would say 'no, it's just that I get lots of top secret information!' He would know, for example, exactly when there was going to be a change of government and which ministers wouldbe replaced. "AHA told the court that Kangura covered subjects such as politics, the introduction of the multiparty system, the war and conflicts between individuals or companies. He said it also pointed the finger at "enemy collaborators" and "called for the authorities to arrest them". "Sometimes the allegations were true, sometimes they were false," the witness said. AHA said Ngeze was arrested several times and his paper was even suspended for "endangering state security". For example, he had warned the authorities about attacks by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) being prepared in Uganda. But the witness said Ngeze was released when"fortunately or unfortunately for him, I don't know" events proved him to have been right. The witness said that, apart from its Kinyarwanda edition, Kangura also published an international one whose aim was to "speak to Burundian Hutus". Kangura was financed mainly from its sales revenue, according to the witness. He added, however, that it also received financial support from the director of the national intelligence services, the director of a private bank, "certain Hutus whose identity I do not know" and from readers. AHA told the court that Kangura stopped publishing between April and July 1994, during the genocide. "I think Ngeze had changed jobs," he told the court. "He was no longer a journalist. He had become head of a platoon. " AHA said Ngeze had joined the Hutu militia who were killing Tutsis. The witness said that there were "no direct links" between the RTLM radio station and Kangura except that "the journalists knew each other". "Ngeze would sometimes appear on RTLM to comment on his predictions that became reality," he said. "But even Tito Rutaremara of the RPF was interviewed on RTLM. " The witness is expected to continue testifying on Monday. AT/JC/FH (ME%1102F )