Arusha, February 28th, 2000 (FH) - Convicted Italo-Belgian ex-radio presenter George Ruggiu told judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday that he had knowingly lied about "hate-radio" RTLM in his book, "Dans la tourmente Rwandaise" (In the Rwandan turmoil). "So you propagated lies in your book in 1995 and you now want this court to believe what you are saying today", defence counsel for genocide suspect Ferdinard Nahimana, Jean Marie Biju Duval of France, asked Ruggiu.

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Ruggiu is testifying against three suspects accused of using the media in Rwanda incite Hutus against Tutsis in the 1994 genocide. They are Ferdinand Nahimana, a founder and alleged former director of Radio-Télévision libre des Mille Collines (RTLM); Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician and RTLMboard 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. Ruggiu told the court that he had described the RTLM in his book as "radio truth, radio courage, radio resistance" so he could defend the radio and its supporters. Ruggiu told the court earlier on Thursday that radio RTLM had, throughout the genocide, demonized ethinic Tutsis and called for Hutus to "wipe out" Tutsis "from the face of the earth". Ruggiu wrote his book on Rwanda before his arrest by the ICTR in 1997. In his book, Ruggiu says "We tried to mobilise the people against the enemy which was the RPF and not the few Tutsi survivors". Ruggiu told the court on Thursday that this was not the reality. Ruggiu told the court he had changed his opinion after his arrest and after speaking to fellow detainees and realising he "had participated in a planned genocide". In a statement to ICTR prosecution investigators before his guilty plea, Ruggiu described Nahimana as a charismatic man who had mobilised people to fightagainst a national enemy. Ruggiu will continue to answer questions from the defence on Friday. This trial is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Navanethem Pillayof South Africa (Presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/JA/FH(ME-0228f)