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Arusha, January 12th 2007 (FH) – Three former officials of the « hate media », which served to call for the genocide of Tutsis in 1994, will appear before the Court of Appeal of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) next week. On December 3rd 2003, Ferdinand Nahimana, 57, and Hassan Ngeze, 46, were condemned to life imprisonment; Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, 57, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The three Rwandans were found guilty of concerted planning of genocide, genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and persecution as crimes against humanity. The Tribunal declared them not guilty of complicity in genocide and of various charges constituting crimes against humanity or war crimes. Nahimana, a former university history professor trained in France, and Barayagwiza, a magistrate trained in the ex Soviet Union, used to belong to the Initiative Committee of the Free Radio and Television of the Thousand Hills (RTLM), a media famous for its anti-Tutsi diatribes. Hassan Ngeze, a self-taught man, worked as director and chief editor of the pro-Hutu newspaper Kangura. The Chamber judged that Nahimana and Barayagwiza « were responsible for the editorial policy of the RTLM but they did nothing to prevent the radio from becoming this instrument of war and genocide ». The judgment pictured the RTLM as « a dangerous and harmful radio » which « developed ethnic clichés which resulted in the encouragement of scorn and hatred against Tutsis ». As for Kangura, the paper was presented as « the first stone laid on the road to genocide, triggering the Hutu population into a killing frenzy ». « The articles in Kangura conveyed contempt and hatred against Tutsis and in particular against Tutsi women whom the paper depicted as femmes fatales », the judges said. In this manner, in December 1990, Kangura had published « the Ten commandments of Hutus », an article considered as the climax of hatred against Tutsis. One of these commandments notably stipulated that « Hutus must be severe and watchful against their common enemies, Tutsis ». Barayagwiza escaped the maximum sentence thanks to defects in proceedings which occurred during his arrest and his temporary detention. Barayagwiza boycotted the whole trial before the Court of First instance, alleging that the ICTR was manipulated by the Rwandan government. The prosecutor of the ICTR, Hassan Bubacar Jallow (Gambia), commended the verdict, declaring that "the tribunal has just established an international precedent, now those using the media to target an ethnic group and destroy it will be brought to justice”. In the opinion of Nahimana’s attorney, Mr. Jean-Marie Biju Duval (France), the reason why his client has been condemned is because « the genocide radio (had) to find a culpable of matching measure, a mediatic scapegoat, one with an international dimension and presented as such to the eyes of the world ». Nahimana, former Director of the Rwandan News Agency (ORINFOR) which serves as an umbrella office for all the media of the country, also belonged to the transition government in which the ex-rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) were to take part. A career diplomat, Barayagwiza worked in 1994 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director of Political Affairs. As far as Ngeze is concerned, his defense team declared this judgment was “a scandal” considering the former journalist did nothing but « exercise his freedom of speech in a context of war ». Because he had been represented by attorneys he himself rejected, Barayagwiza issued a communiqué in his own name reminding that he had been « judged and condemned by a fettered tribunal ». Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza were captured in Cameroon on March 26th 1996, and Hassan Ngeze in Kenya on July 18th 1997. The trial had opened on October 23rd 2000; the prosecution had called forty-seven witnesses and the defense forty-four. The debates were presided Navanethem Pillay (South Africa) later appointed judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC). She had been assisted by Judge Erik Mose (Norway), the sitting president of the ICTR and by Judge Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana (Sri Lanka) who passed away in November 2004. AT/PB/MG © Hirondelle News Agency