Professor Ferdinand Nahimana, a former Director of the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) today pleaded not guilty to three new counts charging him with genocide and crimes against humanity, and confirmed his plea of not guilty to a previous count of conspiracy to commit genocide which now includes names of alleged co-conspirators.
The accused entered the plea when he appeared before Trial Chamber I composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay, presiding, Erik Møse and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana.
The Trial Chamber had on 5 November 1999 granted a Prosecutor's motion to amend the previous indictment which charged the accused with four counts of conspiracy, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. The accused pleaded not guilty to the counts when he made his initial appearance before the Tribunal on 19 February 1997.
Nahimana, 49, a former Professor at the National University of Butare who at one time was also Director of the Rwandan Information Agency (ORINFOR) and Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Culture, is alleged to have conspired with others to work out a plan with the intent to exterminate the civilian Tutsi population and moderate Hutus.
The components of the plan, it is alleged, included the broadcasting of messages of ethnic hatred and incitement to violence, the training and distribution of weapons to militiamen, as well as the preparation of lists of people to be eliminated and the broadcasting of their identities."In executing the plan, they organised and ordered the massacres perpetrated against the Tutsi population and moderate Hutu, and at the same time incited, aided and participated in them," the indictment stated.
In the afternoon the Trial Chamber heard a motion by the Prosecutor for joinder of the trials of the accused, Nahimana, and Hassan Ngeze, a former Editor of Kangura newspaper who is charged with three counts of direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity. The Prosecutor, Ms. Carla Del Ponte, herself presented argument in support of the motion.