Arusha, July 3, 2002 (FH) - French historian, Jean-Pierre Chrétien, has been misleading judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) with "ill researched and confused" testimony, the defence of genocide suspect and former media chief Ferdinand Nahimana said on Tuesday. Chrétien is testifying as an expert witness on the role of the media in the Rwandan genocide.

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He told the court that he had been working on the African Great Lakes region, a region including Rwanda, for over 40 years. In 1995, he co-authored the book: 'Rwanda: Les médias du génocide'. Chrétien told the court on Monday that during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Radio-télévision libre des mille collines (RTLM) had demonised ethnic Tutsis and called for Hutus to exterminate them. He also said that RTLM had been a 'propaganda tool' with connections and funding from Rwanda's top leadership. He is testifying in the so-called media trial which groups three accused linked to the "hate-media" in Rwanda. The three are; Nahimana, a founder and alleged former director of RTLM; Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician and RTLM board member; and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of newspaper "Kangura". 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 Tutsi and moderate Hutu's were killed in the 1994 genocide according to an official census by the government of Rwanda. Under cross-examination by Nahimana's defence counsel, Biju Duval of France, Chrétien conceded on several occasions that he had "mixed up" some facts in his report. He also admitted that he could have done more research on some events. "Why is it that it is only now that you are expressing reservations that you did not indicate in your report", asked Duval. Chrétien had just admitted that he could have done more "research" regarding allegations that at some point during the genocide, radio RTLM broadcast from a mobile van protected by presidential guards. "I'm giving information which we had", said Chrétien. "I think it is possible to make improvements", he added. "You remain satisfied with writing a rumour as a historical expert. A historical expert who doesn't do research", Duval asked Chrétien. The 500-page expert report presented to court by Chrétien was co-authored by Rwandan historians Marcel Kabanda and Joseph Ngarambe. French journalist Jean-François Dupaquier also contributed to the report. Chrétien is currently being cross-examined by defence counsel for Barayagwiza, Giacomo Balretta Caldarera. 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/JA/DO/FH(ME-0703e)