Arusha, July 12, 2002 (FH) - Prosecution in the genocide trial of three former Rwandan media personalities at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) completed its evidence on Friday. The so-called 'media trial' groups founder member and alleged former director of 'hate-radio' Radio-télévision Libre des Mille collines (RTLM), Ferdinand Nahimana, and former editor of newspaper "Kangura", Hassan Ngeze, and former director of political affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and member of the board at RTLM, Jean Bosco Barayagwiza.

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The three are charged with several counts of genocide, public incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. An estimated one million ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed in the 1994 genocide according to an official census by the government of Rwanda. The prosecution has presented 47 witnesses since the case began in October 23rd, 2000. Since then, the case has adjourned several times to give way for other cases taking place in the same chamber. The accused are expected to start their defence case when the trial resumes in September. A Kenyan hand writing expert, Antipus Nanjua, was the last witness in this trial. He testified on the authenticity of a letter purportedly written by Barayagwiza. Despite objections from John Floyd of the US, defence counsel for Ngeze, the chamber admitted the hand writing report into evidence. Floyd criticised the methodology used by Nanjua in arriving at his report. The report states that the handwriting is that of Barayagwiza. Earlier on, expert witness and Rwandan historian, Marcel Kabanda, completed his testimony. He told the court that Kangura's anti-Tutsi propaganda had a 'devastating' impact on the people of Rwanda during the genocide. The chamber also admitted into evidence a video cassette put in by the prosecution purportedly taken in February 1994 during a meeting held by the Rwandan minister of information to caution RTLM on its broadcasts. The prosecution team on this case is led by senior trial attorney Steven Rapp of the US. Other members on the team are; William Egbe of Cameroon, Simone Monasebian of the US, Charity Kagwi of Kenya and Alphonse Van of Ivory Coast. Nahimana, Ngeze, and Barayagwiza are represented by Biju Duval of France, John Floyd of the US and Giaccomo Balretta Caldarera of Italy respectively. The case 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. (SW/DO/FH)