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Arusha, 17 May 2007 (FH) – A legal investigation was opened in France following a victim’s application to join proceedings as a civil party filed against Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of the former Rwandan President for "complicity to genocide and crime against humanity"

According to the AFP, which circulated on Wednesday this information, the examining magistrate charged with the investigation will be named Friday by the Counsel Office of Evry (south of Paris). This investigation follows a victim’s application to join proceedings as a civil party filed on 13 February by the Collective of the Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR), an association formed in 2001 and chaired by Mr. Alain Gauthier.

No charges, until now, had been filled against Agathe Habyarimana; she exiled herself and her three children in France a few days after the attack against her husband’s plane on April 6 1994. Ten years after her arrival, she asked for a residence permit which was refused to her by the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless People (OFPRA).

This refusal was confirmed because the statements of the ex-first lady of Rwanda were considered to be "noncredible" and to have "borrowed improbabilities". "Without holding an official position, Agathe Habyarimana, the judges affirmed, exerted a de facto authority ". She, according to them, would have in particular taken part in the development of the list of people to eliminate, of which included Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana.

Rwanda placed the Habyarimana widow on the principal list of suspects of the genocide but never officially requested her extradition. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has, neither, taken action on the first investigations open about this subject. Her brother Protais Zigiranyirazo is currently on trial at the ICTR notably for his belonging to Akazu.

This legal investigation follows a preliminary investigation by the Counsel Office. At the end of his work, the examining magistrate will file an order in which he will ask for Mrs. Habyarimana and of possible accomplices to be indicted or for the charges to be dropped.

© Hirondelle News Agency