Arusha, January 28, 2003 (FH) - Genocide suspect and former journalist, Hassan Ngeze was pursued by the military for hiding persecuted ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide, three defence witnesses told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. “Soldiers shot at Ngeze's house that night”, said defence witness ‘BAZ9', named as such to protect her identity.

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“It was said that he was attacked because he had been sheltering people. I personally know many people were hidden by Ngeze”, she said. Ngeze was the owner and editor of alleged extremist newspaper, Kangura. He is accused of using his newspaper to incite ethnic Hutus to kill Tutsis in the runup to the 1994 genocide. He is also charged with corroborating with the military and militias to kill ethnic Tustis in his North West Rwanda town of Gisenyi. Ngeze is jointly on trial with two other former media personalities in what has been called the 'media trial'. They are, founder member of RadioTélévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), Ferdinand Nahimana and politician and RTLM board member, JeanBosco Barayagwiza. The three are mainly accused of using the media in Rwanda to alienate and call for killings of ethnic Tutsis. BAZ9 told the court that Ngeze was “a man that didn't make any religious or ethnic discrimination whatsoever. He was disliked by the authorities for telling the truth in his newspaper. ”BAZ9 echoed testimonies given by BAZ13 and SZ4 earlier on. BAZ9 and BAZ13 also testified that Ngeze couldn't have killed one Modeste Tabaro since the later was killed the same night Ngeze's house had been attacked by soldiers. BAZ9 said that Tabaro had been killed by two soldiers. One was called Regis and the other Jeff. She further testified that documents with lists of Hutus to be killed by the predominantly Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) rebels were discovered at Tabaro's residence on the day of his murder. Prosecutors Charity Kagwi of Kenya and William Egbe of Cameroon both contested the credibility of the testimonies. They said the witnesses were contradicting statements earlier made to the defence. It is the first time in the media trial that three witnesses have testified on the same day. The trial is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (presiding), Erik Møse of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. Pillay is currently away from the bench on official business. GG/CE/FH(ME'0128e)