Arusha, September 11, 2001 (FH) A prosecution witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday denied that genocide suspect Hassan Ngeze had participated in the 1994 genocide, and claimed that several previous prosecution witnesses had lied. "I can assure you that one old man who came to testify here came back bragging that he had made compromising testimony against Ngeze," protected witness "DM" told the court under cross-examination by Ngeze's Canadian co-counsel René Martel.

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"That old man never even left his house during the genocide. "The witness said he was a Tutsi who had worked as a driver in Ngeze's home town of Gisenyi, northwest Rwanda, during the genocide, and before that as a vendor of Ngeze's newspaper "Kangura". He told the court he had been tried and acquitted of genocide in Rwanda, after being arrested on December 6th, 1996. Ngeze is former owner and editor of "Kangura". He is on trial with two other suspects linked to "hate media" that incited Hutus to kill Tutsis during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The other accused are Ferdinand Nahimana, a founder and alleged director of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM); and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician and RTLM board member. Witness DM wrote down for the court what he said were the names of three other witnesses that have testified against Ngeze at the ICTR. "They too came back to Gisenyi bragging about making false testimony," said DM. DM also told the court that Ngeze "did not kill anybody or arrest anybody" during the genocide. Asked by Martel whether he knew of any Tutsi saved by Ngeze during the genocide, DM said that he knew of twelve or thirteen. "Yes, and even now, amongst those people that he saved, there are some who are still alive," he added. DM also refuted several factual allegations by previous prosecution witnesses implicating Ngeze in murders during the genocide. DM was examined by prosecutor Alphonse Van of Ivory Coast. DM continues his testimony 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. GG/JC/FH (ME0911e)