Arusha, April 4, 2003 (FH) - Genocide suspect and former journalist Hassan Ngeze told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday that he had done his best in denouncing the massacres of ethnic Tutsis in 1994. Ngeze is mainly accused of inciting Hutus to kill Tutsis in the run up to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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He has been testifying in his defence for almost two weeks. Ngeze told court that he had tried to avert the war in Rwanda by speaking out about its consequences. The prosecution alleges that Ngeze directly incited massacres of Tutsis by dubbing them accomplices of the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front, currently in power) rebels. The prosecutor submitted Kangura articles into evidence indicating that in the event the RPF, (which was in a cease fire agreement with the then Rwandan government shortly before the genocide) resumed fighting, Tutsi civilians should be killed. Ngeze said that despite never ceasing to warn the competent authorities about the consequences of the resumption of war, they never listened to him. “If they had headed my advice, this tribunal wouldn't be in existence, because there wouldn't have been any war”, he said. The tribunal existed because I wasn't listened to”, he added. Ngeze is former owner and editor of alleged extremist newspaper Kangura. He 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. “You are supposed to congratulate me because I tried to prevent the war”, said Ngeze. “I tried but I failed”, he added. Ngeze retaliated previous testimony that, despite a lot of difficulties. “In Kigali, I was the only person who saved one thousand people”, he said. Kangura was not published between April and July 1994 due to the war and the genocide. “If I had means of publishing the newspaper between April and July 1994, I would have called on the people to stop the killings. I would have condemned the authorities”, said Ngeze. “All the people implicated in the massacres were stupid. Including high ranking military officers and members of the government”, he added. The trial continues before trial Chamber One of the ICTR composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay (presiding) of South Africa, Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/AT/FH(ME'0404E)