09.11.07 - RWANDA/FRANCE - THE INQUIRY AGAINST AGATHE HABYARIMANA WILL BE IN PARIS

  Paris, 9 November 2007 (AFP) - The judicial inquiry against Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of the former Rwandan president, opened in Evry, near Paris, following a complaint for "complicity to genocide and crimes against humanity", will be transferred to an investigating magistrate from Paris. 
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The criminal chamber of the final court of appeal delivered this judgment in the middle of the week for a "good administration of justice". For three years, all the cases of genocide have been handed over to two Parisian judges: Fabienne Pous and Michèle Ganascia. This transfer should take a month.
 
The inquiry was opened on 16 May in Evry, a prefecture in the department where Mrs. Habyarimana resides, following a complaint by a civil party filed three months before by the collective of the civil parties for Rwanda (CPCR). A preceding complaint filed by the association "reporters without borders" had not been declared admissible.
 
To date, six judicial inquiries have been opened in France against Rwandan nationals accused of having taken part in the genocide. Two of them could be abandoned and handed over to the ICTR, which wants that Wenceslas Munyeshyeka and Laurent Bucyibaruta be transferred to them. A decision of the Court of Appeal of Paris is waited next week on this subject.
 
The complaint against Mrs. Habyarimana was filed after the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless People (OFPRA) refused, at the beginning of the year, its application to be regarded as a political refugee. In its decision, OFPRA had affirmed that there were "serious reasons" to think that the widow of the former assassinated president had been implicated in the 1994 genocide.
 
Mrs. Habyarimana had been evacuated to France a few days after the assassination of her husband. Ten years later, she asked for political asylum. Before this complaint, no judicial inquiries had targeted her in France. Investigations carried out at the beginning by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda had not succeeded.

AP/PB/MM
 
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