Arusha, 23 November 2007 (FH) - The appeal chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will know, next week, intense activity which the highlight will be, Thursday, the judgment in the trial of three media officials, Ferdinand Nahimana, Jean Bosco Barayagwiza and Hassan Ngeze, convicted in first instance.    

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The academics Nahimana and Barayagwiza formed part of the "initiative committee" of the Radio-Télévision Libre des Milles collines (RTLM); while the self-thought Ngeze was a director and editor of the Hutu radical newspaper Kangura.
On 3 December 2003, Nahimana and Ngeze were sentenced to life in prison while Barayagwiza received 35 years in prison. All three had been found guilty of direct and public incitement through their media to commit genocide.
According to well informed sources, Ngeze, a one of a kind individual, claims to whom will listen that he is sure to be released from prison Thursday, his luggage is ready in his cell. His first intention is to get married because, in spite of multiple motions, the court refused to grant him authorization to get married in his detention center.
This judgment will be preceded, Tuesday, by the judgment in the trial of Colonel Aloys Simba, a comrade in arms of President Juvénal Habyarimana. Sentenced to 25 years in prison on 13 December 2005, he had strongly claimed his innocence when he pleaded his cause before the appeal judges in May. During the 1994 genocide, Simba, a retired officer, no longer exerted an official function, but he had been recalled to serve in the armed forces as a "civil defence" official in the prefectures of Butare and Gikongoro, in the south of his country.

The colonel had been found guilty, in first instance, of genocide and extermination for having distributed to killers the weapons that were used to massacre Tutsis in his native prefecture, Gikongoro.

The appeal chamber will also hold hearings in two cases. The most waited will take place Monday, with the appeal trial of the first catholic priest tried by the ICTR, Abbot Athanase Seromba sentenced on 13 December to 15 years in prison. The clergyman had been found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. The two parties appealed.
Finally, Wednesday, the appeal chamber will hear the appeal motifs of the former interim commander of the School for Non-Commissioned Officers (ESO) of Butare, Lieutenant-Colonel Tharcisse Muvunyi, sentenced on 12 September 2006 to 25 years in prison.

© Hirondelle News Agency