Arusha, March 25, 2003 (FH) - Genocide suspect and former journalist, Hassan Ngeze on Monday began his testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the socalled Media trial. Ngeze is former editor of alleged extremist newspaper, Kangura.

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He is mainly accused of using the paper to incite ethnic Hutus to kill Tutsis in the run up to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. 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. Hassan Ngeze who has refused to cooperate with his defence since the beginning of the trial said that his testimony would comprise of six parts mainly centered on his carreer as journalist and the history of Rwanda. He began working as a journalist in the late 80s. Dressed in a grey gown and wearing a fez, Ngeze told the judges that he would concentrate on the cause of conflicts in precolonial Rwanda to help the court understand the contents and the source of his articles. Furthermore, Ngeze said that he would testify on how he had worked with foreign journalists to help the outside world understand the Rwandan “reality”. He also said he would speak about his efforts in saving persecuted people during the genocide. Ngeze's defence has until now presented 29 witnesses. He is represented by lawyers John Floyd of the US and René Martel of Canada. Prior to the beginning of his defence, the court heard the witnesses for Nahimana. Barayagwiza has boycotted the trial since its beginning. Nevertheless, he is represented by court appointed lawyers. Trial Chamber One of the ICTR is composed of judges Navanethem Pillay (presiding) of South Africa, Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/AT/CE/FH(ME'0325e)