Arusha, October 15th, 2002 (FH) - Genocide suspect and founder member of alleged "hate-radio", RadioTélévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), Ferdinard Nahimana, on Monday admitted before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that the radio had made some mistakes in its broadcasts. Nahimana, a founder member and alleged former director of RTLM, is jointly on trial with two other suspects linked with the media in Rwanda before and during the genocide.

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The two are: Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician, RTLM founder and board member and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper "Kangura". Nahimana has denied prosecution allegations that he was director of radio RTLM and maintains that he was only a member of 'comité d'initiative' (a committee that managed the radio station). The three accused are primarily charged of using their respective media to incite the1994 genocide in Rwanda. "Journalists did make mistakes", said Nahimana when the prosecution presented to him a broadcast made over the radio on or about February 1st, 1994. An excerpt of the broadcast said that "the RPF (a predominantly Tutsi rebel movement) and the Tutsi were the same thing. " The broadcast was done by prominent RTLM journalist, Habimana Kantano. The prosecution case has largely been centered on allegations that the radio associated all ethnic Tutsis with the rebel movement and called for Hutus to eliminate them in the run-up to the 1994 genocide. Asked if any action had been taken by RTLM against Habimana, Nahimana told the court that the comité d'initiative had reproached him. "Such language is unacceptable to me. (…) It is revolting", he said. Previously, as a "mistake" done by RTLM, Nahimana had mentioned to the court an incident in which the radio had announced that a certain Tutsi businessman was driving to the South West province of Cyangugu with Inkotanyi (name given to RPF rebels) in his car. Nahimana told the court three weeks ago that the incidence was a regrettable one and that the journalist involved had been cautioned. He also said that the man in question had been given air time to "explain himself. "Challenged by prosecutor Simone Monasebien of the US as to why he never resigned from the comité d'initiative following mistakes of the RTLM, Nahimana said that the committee had done its best to correct the errors. He added that he "was only a member of the comité d'initiative, not its president. "The trial continues on Wednesday before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR composed of judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (Presiding), Erik Møse of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/FH(ME-1015f)