Arusha, April 2, 2003 (FH) - Genocide suspect and former journalist,Hassan Ngeze on Tuesday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda(ICTR) that contrary to charges against him, he never called on ethnic Hutusto unite and fight Tutsis in the run up to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Ngeze was testifying on his last day of his testimonyinchief in the mediatrial.

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He has been testifying since Monday last week. Prosecutor CharityKagwiNdungu of Kenya began crossexamining him on Tuesday afternoon. Ngeze, former editor and owner of the newspaper Kangura, is mainly chargedwith incitement to committee genocide against ethnic Tutsis and Hutusopposed to the Rwandan government between April and July, 1994. “I never asked Hutus to unite against Tutsis. I asked Hutus to unite amongthemselves”, said Ngeze. He said there were profound differences betweenHutus and that this was important to tackle before going into the HutuTutsiconflict. “At least the Tutsis, to a certain level, were united”, he added. Ngeze said that in 1992, he had supported the alleged Hutu extremist party,Coalition pour la Défense de la République (CDR) because it asked “Rwandansto come to a round table and discuss the HutuTutsi question. ” Before thatand even today, he said, there has been no decent debate on the causes ofthe HutuTutsi conflict. The prosecutor argues that Kangura “published segregationist articles andcaricatures and names accompanied by photos of persons dubbed as enemies ofthe state. ” The prosecution says that such publications were directlyresponsible for the killing of thousands of innocent civilians. Ngezemaintains that Kangura was a “mirror of the history of conflict in Rwanda”. Ngeze says that his articles were meant to alert the authorities about whatwas going on but the authorities simply reacted with “paranoia”. Ngeze is jointly on trial with former university professor and foundermember of “hateradio”, Radiotélévision libre des Mille collines (RTLM),Ferdinand Nahimana and former politician and also founder member of RTLM,JeanBosco Barayagwiza. Start of crossexaminationAt the start of crossexamination, Ngeze confirmed that he had been incharge of Kangura. “It was my newspaper. Even though certain articles werepublished while I was in prison”, he said. The prosecution says that “as editorinchief of Kangura, Ngeze had controlover its contents and all its employees including the journalists”. Ngezedefines himself as “a special investigator, one of a few people withknowledge of what happened in Rwanda and the great lakes region before andafter 1994”. Prosecutor KagwiNdungu suggested that Ngeze knew of a plan to exterminateTutsis in the event of resumption of war in 1994. Ngeze denied this andadded that “he tried to publish, to understand the consequences of the warin case it resumed”. Ngeze reiterated his testimony that, contrary to the prosecution, he hadsaved many Tutsis between July and April. Ngeze continues to answer questions from the prosecution on Wednesday. Thistrial is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR comprised of judges NavanethemPillay (presiding) of South Africa, Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de ZoysaGunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/AT/CE/FH(ME'0402e)