Arusha, October 14, 2002 (FH) - Genocide suspect and former media chief, Ferdinand Nahimana on Monday alleged that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) had conveniently doctored three documents tendered as evidence. Nahimana is a founder and alleged former controller of "hateradio", Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM).

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He was also a history professor at the National University of Rwanda. He is jointly on trial with two other suspects linked with the media in Rwanda before and during the genocide. The two are : JeanBosco Barayagwiza, a former politician, RTLM founder and board member and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper "Kangura". The three are primarily accused of using their respective media to incite the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The documents include two interviews, one given to the state radio in Cyangugu and one to a French television station in Cameroon. The third one is a document of alleged minutes of a meeting between RTLM officials, including Nahimana, with the then Rwandan minister of Information, Faustin Rucogoza. The two held in Rwanda were in 1994. The one in Cameroon was held in 1996. The documents are part of the evidence put forward by the prosecution to prove that Nahimana was one of the leaders of a "racist" radio station that incited the genocide. At the resumption of the media trial that has been in recess for two weeks, Nahimana told court that parts vindicating him were missing from the three documents. " The trial has been presented as a complex one whereas there was all this testimony that was never provided", he said. Nahimana explained that the prosecution would have had no case if the evidence had been presented in totality. The prosecution, represented by Simone Monasabien of the US denied the allegation. In the alleged minutes of a meeting called by the minister of information to reproach the RTLM on the content of its "extremist" broadcasts, Nahimana is reported to have attended as director of RTLM, an allegation that he denies from the beginning of his trial. Nahimana told the court that the real director of the radio station, Phocas Habimana had attended the meeting and, according to Nahimana, a page in the minutes indicating his (Habimana's) presence had been plucked out of the evidence by the prosecutor "to save her face. "Nahimana has told the court that he was only a member of a committee in charge of RTLM but was never the director of the radio. Nahimana will continue his testimony on Tuesday. He is the first defence witness in this trial. The trial on Tuesday will only last until midday to give way to the trial a former Rwandan minister of Information, Eliezer Niyitegeka taking place in the same chamber. The system of holding different trials in the same chamber on the same day is a trial run for the performance of ad litem expected to start work early next year. Ad litem judges will supplement the work of existing permanent judges. 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. GG/FH(ME1014e)