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Barayagwiza to be jointly tried with Nahimana and Ngeze

Trial Chamber I on 6 June 2000 granted a Prosecutor's motion to join the indictment of Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, a former Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, with those of Ferdinand Nahimana, a former Director of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) and Hassan Ngeze, a former Editor of Kangura newspaper. Their joint Trial will now begin on 18 September 2000 before the same Trial Chamber.

Granting the motion, the Trial Chamber said that the Prosecution had established a sufficient basis to support the assertion that Barayagwiza, Nahimana and Ngeze were involved in a conspiracy to commit genocide in Rwanda in 1994. The three accused, who form what is called "The Media Group", are alleged to have acted together by way of their involvement in Kangura and RTLM, which worked together to promote ethnic hatred towards Tutsis and moderate Hutus. It is alleged that in 1990 Barayagwiza and Nahimana were part of a group who formed the newspaper Kangura, in order to defend Hutu extremist ideology and incite fear of Tutsis, and that Ngeze ultimately became the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper. Barayagwiza and Nahimana are also alleged to have set up RTLM for the same purpose. The accused are alleged to have used the media to broadcast messages of ethnic hatred and publish lists of people to be killed.

Barayagwiza and Ngeze are also alleged to have acted together, in the Coalition pour la Defense de la Republique, an extremist Hutu organisation, which actively took part in arming, training and instructing members of the organisation's youth wing to attack Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Gisenyi prefecture.

The Trial Chamber, agreeing with the Prosecutor, held that in the interest of good administration of justice, the co-conspirators should be tried together. It further considered that a joint trial would ease the burden upon and enhance the safety of the witnesses, by avoiding the need for them to make several trips to the Tribunal and a repetition of their testimony.

On 18 April 2000, a plea of not guilty to three new counts was entered by Judge Navanethem Pillay on behalf of Barayagwiza after he declined to plead. A month earlier, the Appeals Chamber of the Tribunal reviewed its earlier decision to release Barayagwiza after the Prosecutor presented new facts to the case. Another former employee of RTLM, Georges Ruggiu, recently pleaded guilty before the ICTR to direct and public incitement to commit genocide and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

For information only - Not an official document

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