In his indictment dated July 12, 1996, the Prosecutor of the ICTR charges Ferdinand Nahimana with 4 counts:
conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, and crimes against Humanity.
In the above indictment it is said that: « Ferdinand Nahimana is believed to have been born on 15 June 1950 in the Republic of Rwanda. During the time of the events alleged in the indictment, he was a senior representative of a company, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, SA (RTLM SA) and its commercial radio station, Radio des Mille Collines (RTLM) ».
« Between 1 January 1994 and approximately 31 July 1994, RTLM was used to broadcast messages designed to achieve inter-ethnic hatred and encourage the population to kill, commit acts of violence and persecutions against the Tutsi population and others on political grounds. During the period alleged in this indictment, Tutsis and others were killed and suffered serious bodily or mental harm as the result of the RTLM broadcasts ». « During the time of the events alleged in this indictment, Ferdinand Nahimana exercised control, or had the opportunity to exercise control, over the programming, operations and finances of RTLM SA and RTLM ».
Ferdinand Nahirnana was arrested in the territory of the Republic of Cameroon on 27 March 1996 by the Cameroonian authorities. The accused was transferred to the ICTR Detention Unit, located in Arusha, on 23 January 1997.
During the initial appearance, on 19 February 1997, Ferdinand Nahimana pleaded not guilty.