Arusha, March 5, 2002 (FH) - Convicted Italo-Belgian journalist George Ruggiu had a psychopathic disorder that compelled him to agree to false suggestions from the prosecution about the 1994 genocide, defence counsel for genocide suspect Jean Barayagwiza suggested to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. Ruggiu is testifying against three suspects who allegedly used the media to fuel the genocide in Rwanda.

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The so-called media trial is composed of former director of the Rwandan national information office (ORINFOR), an organisation controlling the state radio, television and other state media outlets, Ferdinand Nahimana. Nahimana is also a founder and one of the leaders of defunct "hate-radio", Radio-Television libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). The trial also includes 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. The three are charged with several counts of genocide, genocide, public incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. Ruggiu was a journalist at RTLM during the genocide. He was arrested on an ICTR indictment in 1997 in Mombasa, Kenya. He pleaded guilty to inciting genocide and to persecution as a crime against humanity. The ICTR sentenced him to 12 years' imprisonment on June 1st, 2000. Lead counsel for Barayagwiza, Giaccomo Baletta Caldarera of Italy, told the court that Ruggiu might have developed emotional problems from the difficultchildhood that he had had as a son of an immigrant. Ruggiu had told the court that his Italian father had immigrated to Belgium in search for a better job. Ruggiu was born in Belgium to a Belgian mother. Ruggiu however denied that he had a difficult childhood or ever suffered any psychopathic problems. Spirit of social revenge"Indeed there were pressures from my counsel, the prosecution, investigators and from other accused", said Ruggiu. "But I reflected on the crimes I had done to Rwandans and my duty to confess. I have made sure that I speak the truth ", he added. Caldarera insisted that Ruggiu was a desperate failure in life with a spirit of social revenge. Earlier on Tuesday, Ruggiu repeatedly admitted that he had lied about several events in interviews with prosecution investigators before his plea in 1997. Defence counsel for Nahimana sought to prove that Ruggiu was a perpetual liar who couldn't be believed by the court. "I wasn't in any plea agreement with the prosecution at that time. I wasn't sure of what accusations would be brought against me and had no reason to co-operate with the Prosecutor", said Ruggiu. Ruggiu also made contradictions regarding his testimony to the court last week and his witness statement to prosecution investigators in 1999. Ruggiuaccepted to co-operate with the Office of the Prosecutor in 1999. Ruggiu will continue his testimony on Wednesday with cross-examination from Ngeze's defence. This trial 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. GG/JA/FH(ME-0305e)