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Arusha, January 19 2007 (FH) – Ferdinand Nahimana, Rwandan historian among the founders of the sadly famous Thousand Hills Independent Radio and Television (RTLM) said at the end of his trial in appeal before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that « no one can deny » the reality of the genocide of 1994. The court of first instance sentenced him to life imprisonment on account of the content of the shows aired on the RTLM. « The war, the massacres and eventually the genocide have happened. And the latter, the genocide, no one can deny it; it is an atrocious historic fact. As a historian, I have to say it as it is », Nahimana told the court. Many persons accused or condemned at the ICTR are contesting the reality of the genocide of 1994 in their country. Nahimana said he was defending the cause « of the Rwandan people, Tutsis, Hutus, Twas, sharing a common nation, a common sufferance, a common hope, a common history, alas, full of sound and fury ». He then talked about his position toward the former rebellion of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) now in power in the capital. « I am the one who called the Rwandan people to stand united against the rebels of the RPF », he declared, standing erect before the judges of the Appeals court. Then, he admitted that he « and others, had participated to the creation of the RTLM to promote the liberty of expression in a modern democracy ». « Until April 6 1994, nothing in the shows of the radio let me suspect it was betraying the goals of its founders », the former professor at the National University of Rwanda declared. However, he recalled with what « horror » he had been listening to the RTLM after that fatidic day. « From April 12 to July 1994, some of the shows contain calls to hate and extermination », he added. « But that radio was never mine », he emphasized. Nahimana explained that, as opposed to what the prosecutor alleges, he had never been « either the director or one of the leaders of the RTLM ». Before sitting down, he finally asked the judges of the Appeals court to make him justice. He was appearing alongside Jean Bosco Brayagwiza, co-founder of the RTLM, and Hassan Ngeze, ex-director of the Hutu radical paper Kangura. ER/PB/MG © Hirondelle News Agency