Arusha, August 22, 2003 (FH) The trial of three people accused of using the media to incite, propagate and promote the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, went into deliberations after three years of arguments before Trial Chamber One of at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The accused are two founders of Radio-télévision libre des mille collines (RTLM), Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, as well as the former owner and editor-in-chief of Kangura newspaper, Hassan Ngeze.

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The prosecutor asserts that the two media organs had the same objectives: the promotion of Hutu extremist ideology, and inciting ethnic hatred and violence against Tutsis. The prosecutor has demanded the maximum sentence, life imprisonment for all the accused. The lawyers on the other hand insist that the prosecutor has not proved his case beyond all reasonable doubt and have demanded for an acquittal. The defence has rejected prosecution testimonies in whole, deeming them of extreme fragile nature if not dangerous- not for the defence, but for justice as a wholeFerdinand Nahimana, 53, is represented by the Frenchman Jean-Marie Duval and Diana Ellis, QC from Britain. Hassan Ngeze, 46, is defended by John Floyd from the USA and René Martel form Canada, while 50 year-old Jean Bosco Barayagwizas defence counsel is Giacomo Barletta Caldarera form Italy. Barayagwiza has boycotted proceedings of the tribunal ever since it started hearing the case October 23, 2000. He alleges that the ICTR in manipulated by the Rwandan government. Nahimana and Barayagwiza were both arrested in Cameroon March 26, 1996, while Ngeze was arrested in Kenya July 18, 1997. The media trial is being heard by Trial Chamber One of the ICTR presided over by the South African, Navanethem Pillay and it includes the Norwegian Erik Møse and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana from Sri Lanka. KN/AT/FH(ME'0822E)