Arusha, April 23, 2001 (FH)- Former Rwandan politician Joseph Nzirorera and former army officer Anatole Nsengiyumva were among the main financial backers of extremist newspaper Kangura, whose editor is on trial for genocide and incitement, a prosecution witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday. Former Kigali prosecutor François-Xavier Nsanzuwera was testifying in the trial of three suspects linked to so-called "hate media" in Rwanda before and during the 1994 genocide.

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They are Ferdinand Nahimana, former director of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM); Jean-Bosco-Barayagwiza, former politican and RTLM board member; and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper Kangura. Nzirorera and Nsengiyumva are also in the custody of the ICTR, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Their trials have not yet begun. Nsanzuwera told the court that Ngeze was running a newspaper (Kangura) that did not belong to him and whose real owners kept out of the limelight. The witness was state prosecutor in Kigali between 1990 and 1994. He told the court he had investigated Kangura in the course of his duties. According to the witness, Kangura carried a "racial and ethnic message", launching slanderous attacks on individuals. Nsanzuwera said Kangura defined itself as a "consciousness-raising paper for Hutus in the face of the danger from the Inkotanyi (Tutsi-led rebellion) and their accomplices, that is, Tutsis and Hutu opponents of the government". He said that he had personally referred to Kangura as the "death knell". Nsanzuwera told the court that Ngeze distributed free copies of Kangura in Bugesera, south of Kigali, just before massacres of Tutsis in that region in March 1992. He said an intelligence officer from Bugesera named Rugwizangoga helped with the distribution. The witness said the massacres in Bugesera would not have taken place on such a big scale if it had not been for the prior distribution of Kangura. He added that state-owned Radio Rwanda had at the time also broadcast a statement saying Tutsi rebels were preparing to kill certain Hutu politicians and businessmen. Nsanzuwera said local officials also did "consciousness raising" among the population prior to the massacres. Nsanzuwera's testimony continues on Tuesday. The Media Trial is before 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. AT/JC/FH (ME0423f)