Arusha, February 28, 2002 (FH) - Convicted Italo-Belgian presenter George Ruggiu on Thursday quoted before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) what he said were radio RTLM broadcasts aimed at inciting the "extermination" of ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. "They are a species of bad people, I don't know how God will help us to exterminate the 'Inkotanyi'", said Ruggiu quoting what the prosecution says are transcripts of a radio RTLM broadcast at the height of the 1994 genocide.

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Ruggiu told the court that the word 'Inkotanyi' at that time referred to all Tutsis and the Tutsi-led RPF rebel movement. 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 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. 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. "Look at the height and physical appearance. Look at the small nose and break it", said Ruggiu quoting another audio cassette allegedly from an RTLMbroadcast. Prosecution witnesses have testified that Tutsis in Rwanda are identified from being tall and possessing aquiline noses. "Tutsis should disappear from the face of the earth. We should have them completely wiped out", Ruggiu said quoting a cassette allegedly from a June, 1994 RTLM broadcast. The defence counsels for the three accused have contested the authenticity of about 600 audiocassettes tendered by the prosecution as recordings of RTLMbroadcasts. The court has provisionally accepted the cassettes as exhibits pending authentication by ICTR investigators. The prosecution says it acquired thecassettes from the US State department and the Rwandan government. Ruggiu continues to testify before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (Presiding), Erik Mose of Norway andAsoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/JA/FH(ME-0228e)