Arusha, April 4, 2003 (FH) - Hassan Ngeze, a former editor and owner of “Kangura” newspaper Friday denied running a website bearing his name. Ngeze is appearing before Trial Chamber one of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), where he is being jointly tried with two others for using the media to incite killings before and during the 1994 genocide.

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He was being cross examined by one of the prosecuting counsel, William Egbe from Cameroon who presented evidence to the tribunal that documents pertaining to the progress of Ngeze's trial were being regularly posted on the site. “I have nothing to do with that website”, Ngeze at first vehemently denied, but later agreed that he knew the people running it. “Some friends of mine in the United States created that website to promote my trial”, he said, but denied supplying them with the documents, some of which are part of defence evidence. The colourfully dressed suspect, who was visibly enjoying himself, goaded the prosecutor to find out who the authors were. “Find out for yourself who they are, if you want me to help you, pay me”, said Ngeze, rubbing together the fingers of one hand. The home page of the website has the words: “This page is dedicated to Hassan Ngeze an African journalist in a wartorn country. He is accused because of having exercised his freedom of speech”. The prosecutor has in the last few days been trying to show the Tribunal that Ngeze's testimony was not reliable. One of the pieces of evidence the prosecutor presented to the court was a recording that was aired on the extremist radio station, “Radio télévision libre des mille collines” in May 1994. In the recording, Hassan Ngeze denies harbouring Tutsis in his house, saying that it was propaganda being spread by the RPF in order to have him killed. Part of Ngeze's defence strategy has been to show the court that he saved hundreds of Tutsis by hiding or smuggling them out of the country. Many witnesses gave evidence that he did so. “Did you expect me to announce on radio that I was hiding Tutsis?” Ngeze asked the prosecutor. “That would have been inviting death”. He added that he had been against the killing of innocent civilians from the beginning and that this had attracted the attention of one of Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva's killers, Lieutenant BIzumuremyi. He then accused the tribunal of arresting the wrong people. “Many innocent people have been arrested and they will find it difficult to prove their innocence. Yet the real killers are free. Why don't you arrest them”? He demanded. Ngeze is jointly on trial with former university professor and founder member of "hateradio", Radiotélévision libre des Mille collines (RTLM), Ferdinand Nahimana and former politician and also founder member of RTLM, JeanBosco Barayagwiza. Trial Chamber One of the ICTR is composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (Presiding), Erik Møse of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka, continues April 7th when William Egbe is expected to end his cross examination. KN/FH(ME'0404e)