Arusha, May, 3, 2001 (FH) - Genocide suspect and former journalist Hassan Ngeze kept about 50 guns at his home in 1993, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. Witness 'AFX', named as such to protect his identity, is the 18th prosecution witness to testify in this trial.

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The case groups three accused who allegedly used the media to fuel the 1994 genocide. The three are Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper Kangura; Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, former director of political affairs at Rwanda’s foreign ministry and a board member of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM); and Ferdinand Nahimana, co-founder and former director of RTLM. The three are charged with several counts of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. They have all pleaded not guilty. "There were guns and grenades (in Ngeze's house). There were approximately 50 guns," the witness told the court. Asked by prosecutor William Egbe of Cameroon how he had learned of the existence of these guns, AFX said: "Ngeze took me to his home and showed them to me. "AFX testified that Barayagwiza was leader of the hardline Hutu CDR party in Gisenyi, and that he and Ngeze attended several CDR meetings in 1993 which urged Hutus to be vigilant against "the Tutsi enemy". Barayagwiza, according to the witness, advised a gathering at Ngororero in Gisenyi that it was "high time Hutus knew who their enemies are and they should know how to behave and how to defend themselves". Three weeks later, after a similar meeting at Umuganda stadium in the same prefecture, roadblocks were set up and killings began, AFX told the court. He said he thought the meeting took place between July and August 1993. This was before the genocide, in which some 800,000 people were killed between April and July 1994. Defence lawyers protested continually against witness AFX's testimony, questioning the 1993 date and saying that most of the testimony had taken them "by surprise", as it was not included in the original statement made by the witness. The court said it preferred testimony in court to statements made by the witnesses and that defence would be given enough time to cross-examine the witness. The court adjourned until Monday to give defence time to prepare cross-examination. The Trial is being heard by Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/JC/PHD/FH (ME0503E)