Arusha, February, 19, 2001(FH) - Protected witness ’AGR’ on Monday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that genocide suspect Ferdinand Nahimana discriminated against Tutsis during his time as director of the National Information Office of Rwanda (ORINFOR). Ferdinand Nahimana was director of the state-run ORINFOR from early 1991 to 1992.

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He later co-founded and was director of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). Nahimana is jointly accused with two other suspects linked to media which allegedly incited Hutus to kill Tutsis during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They are Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper Kangura and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, former director of political affairs at Rwanda’s foreign ministry and aboard member of RTLM. The three are charged with several counts of genocide, direct and publicincitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. They have all pleaded not guilty. Witness ’AGR’, a journalist at ORINFOR when Nahimana was director, recounted several cases of employees being sacked or persecuted for no apparent reason except that they were Tutsi. In one case, the witness told the court, Nahimana fired a Tutsi telephone operator and closed the department, saying it was no longer necessary, but reinstated the department later with Hutu workers. AGR also testified that Nahimana was said to have drawn up a fake list of prominent Hutus to be killed by the RPF, triggering widespread massacres of Tutsis in Bugesera region, southern Rwanda. The list, the witness said, was broadcast on Radio Rwanda (a subsidiary of ORINFOR). Witness ’AGR’ further said Nahimana had been a member of a comité du salut public (committees, according to the witness, set up in the 1970s to cut down the number of Tutsis in the public service and public schools). The ICTR has jurisdiction over crimes committed in Rwanda between January and December 1994. Prosecuter Simone Monasebian of the US told the court that she was including evidence before the statutory period to refute a pre-trial brief by the defence that Nahimana had never in his life harboured hatred for Tutsis. The Trial is being heard by Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Pillay of South Africa (presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/JC/FH (ME_0219e)