Kigali, 5 March 2008 (FH) - The Lower House of the Rwandan Parliament Tuesday asked the government to prosecute Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles who issued last month arrest warrants against 40 officers of the Rwandan Patriotic Front(RPF), accusing them of genocide and war crimes, according to Radio Rwanda.

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"The deputies asked the government to prosecute the Spanish judge for negationism of a genocide which has been recognized by the United Nations", the radio reported Wednesday morning.

The request was made to the Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama, during a plenary session on the indictments issued by the Spanish judge.

According to the radio, Karugarama affirmed that these arrest warrants should by no means worry the Rwandan population because they were issued in violation of the law.

The minister stated that the Spanish judge was manipulated by the authors of the genocide and their lobbies, added Radio Rwanda.

According to the investigation of the Spanish judge, published on 6 February, RPF rebels, committed prior to 1994, massacres of several thousand people, notably in the region of Byumba, and organized assassinations of several opponents.

RPF is currently in power in Rwanda.

The United Nations has estimated that about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the April-July 1994 slaughter.

© Hirondelle News Agency