Hassan Ngeze was born in 1957 in the Rubavu Commune of the Gisenyi Prefecture of Rwanda.
Until 1990, Ngeze held the position of correspondent and distributor in Gisenyi for Kanguka, an anti-ethnic newspaper critical of the ruling regime and especially of the military.
In 1990, he founded the newspaper Kangura with other well-known personalities of the “Akazu” (which means “the little house” – being a reference to the entourage of President Habyarimana). The first publication was entirely financed by the Information Bureau of the Presidency. The creation of this publication, for which Ngeze was made the chief editor, was part of a much wider strategy on the part of the State. By setting up such “hate media”, the authorities hoped to broadcast as widely as possible the official ethnic message. These media had a great influence on the Rwandan population and played a major role in the genocide. On occasion they were used as a direct means to communicate lists of people to be executed, and also to bring about, in a subtle way, a climate of perpetual tension and an intensification of inter-ethnic hatred (see the internet link attached).
Kangura, for example, published the “Ten Commandments of the Bahutus” (December 1990) which was an unequivocal call to contemptibility for and hatred towards the Tutsi minority in addition to constituting slander and persecution against Tutsi women
In 1991, Hassan Ngeze (in close collaboration with Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza) is said to have planned the killings of the Bagogwe (Northern Tutsis) in the Mutura Commune, in the Gisenyi Prefecture. He reportedly distributed arms and money to the soldiers of the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi who then committed the massacres. At that same time he was alleged to have been a participant in meetings presided over by Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza and others, during which they encouraged the militia and the civilian population to kill Tutsis. As a result of these meetings Tutsis were attacked and murdered.
In 1993, when the “Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines” (Free Radio and Television of the Thousand Hills, RTLM) first went on the air, Ngeze became a shareholder of the station as well as its correspondent in Gisenyi. Between January and July, 1994, people’s names were called out over the air by RTLM and designated as enemies. In his role as informant in Gisenyi, Ngeze is said to have sent to the RTLM the name of an individual from Gisenyi, which was broadcast by this radio station in April 1994.
From 1990 to 1994, due to the influence he wielded, Ngeze was considered to be a de facto organ of the regime of President Habyarimana. He always attempted to deny this by invoking the fact that he was imprisoned several times by the regime during this same time period: and indeed it has been authenticated that he was imprisoned for high treason from July to October 1990.
At the time of the alleged events (note thatthe ICTR, by virtue of Article 1 of its Statute, only has jurisdiction over crimes committed between .January 1, 1994 and December 31, 1994), Ngeze was the chief editor of Kangura. As founder of the Movement for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), he was also an influential member of this party, and one of the commanders of the soldiers in the Gisenyi Prefecture. Previously, Hassan Ngeze had been a member of the National Republican Movement for Development (MRND), the party of the President
As chief editor of the Kangura, Ngeze exercised his authority and control over the employees responsible for publication, including the journalists. Furthermore as an important member of the CDR, ex-member of the MRND and one of the army commanders in Gisenyi, he wielded his authority over the troops of the Interahamwe (MRND) and the Impuzamugambi (CDR).
In April, May and June 1994, Ngeze was interviewed by RTLM and Radio Rwanda. During the interview, he allegedly called for the extermination of the Tutsis and those Hutus in opposition. He also took sides with the extremist Hutu ideology of the CDR.
From June 1993 up until he fled Rwanda, Ngeze reportedly supplied arms to many civilians dedicated to the cause of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) in the Gisenyi Prefecture. In 1993, in the same region, he also is said to have issued lists containing the names of moderate Tutsis and Hutus to be eliminated (lists which were drawn up by the Burgomasters and the sector advisors in the Gisenyi Prefecture) Ngeze would have been aware that the people appearing on these lists would be killed.
Throughout 1994, Kangura published lists with the names of members of the Tutsi population and moderate Hutus to be eliminated. These lists were used by the army and the militia during the massacres which were perpetrated between April 7 and the end of July 1994.
Starting in April 1994, Ngeze as leader of the Interahamwe allegedly took part in many killings in the Gisenyi Prefecture. At the place known as the “Red Commune”, which was the site of several massacres, he was reported to have supervised mass burials and congratulated the Interahamwe for their good work.
Between April and July 1994, as leader of the Interahamwe, Hassan Ngezeis said to have incited them to commit rape and other forms of sexual violence in the territory of the Gisenyi Prefecture.
During the same period, militia groups under the direction of the leaders of the CDR, one of which was Hassan Ngeze,reportedly hunted down, kidnapped and killed several members of the Tutsi population and the Hutu moderates of Gisenyi. Furthermore, many of the Tutsi houses were ransacked, destroyed or burned down. Hassan Ngeze was accused of taking no measures to prevent these acts from occurring even though he knew about them (or should have known about them).
On 10 April, he was reported to have fired a bullet into the side of a young Tutsi girl. As she lay dying, the girl was finished off with stones thrown by the Interahamwe who accompanied Ngeze.
Confronted with the advancing troops of the FPR, Ngeze fled Rwanda. Hassan Ngeze was arrested in Kenya on 18 July 1997,at the demand of the Prosecutor of the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) and transferred the same day to the United Nations penitentiary in Arusha.