Arusha, September 26, 2002 (FH) - A prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday suggested to judges that genocide suspect and former media chief, Ferdinand Nahimana, demonised Tutsis, "Nazi style", in the run up to the 1994 genocide. Prosecutor Steven Rapp of the US was cross-examining Nahimana on his seventh day on the stand.

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Accusing Nahimana of anti-Tutsi literature, Rapp referred to a 15-page essay written by Nahimana in 1993 with the tittle "Rwanda : problems and solutions". In the essay, Nahimana talks of a conspiracy by a "Tutsi league" to destabilise the country. "Isn't this similar to the Nazi theory of an international Jewish conspiracy that was blamed for European problems", Rapp asked Nahimana. "In doing that, weren't you playing with fire given the situation in Rwanda at the time", he added. "No", responded Nahimana. "The league existed and we all know it (…) It's a development that took place whose consequences we all know", he added. Nahimana said that the "league" comprised of Tutsi opposition parties in the diaspora. The prosecution maintains that Nahimana's multiple references to a "Tutsi league" were not qualified and were therefore meant to refer to all Tutsis in and outside Rwanda. Nahimana is a founder and alleged former controller of "hate-radio", Radio-télévision libre des Mille collines (RTLM). He was also a history professor at the National University of Rwanda. He is jointly on trial with two other suspects linked with the media in Rwanda before and during the genocide. The two are : Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician, RTLM founder and board member and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper "Kangura". Nahimana continues his testimony on Friday. The trial is 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-0926e)