Paris, 2 April 2008 (FH) - Four new legal procedures have been opened by the Prosecution of Paris against Rwandan nationals, including Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of the former president of Rwanda, for their alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide.

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Two procedures, opened by the prosecution of Evry and Lille ,Northern France, were transferred to the Parisian jurisdiction.

The first is against complicity in genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity which targets Agathe Habyarimana. The former first lady was refused in February 2007 by France an asylum request because she had been at the heart of the genocidal regime responsible for the preparation and the execution of the genocide in Rwanda during 1994.

The second notably targets Dr. Eugene Rwamucyo for genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and complicity in crimes against humanity. He is on the list of the 93 people wanted by Rwanda.

On 13 March, the prosecution of Paris opened a judicial inquiry against Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, inter alia, for genocide and crimes against humanity. Mr. Ntawukuriryayo, detained in France at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). He has been in custody since 16 October under the terms of an arrest and transfer warrant by the ICTR.

Mr Ntawukuriryayo has been residing in France since 1999 and had legal residence. The Final Court of Appeal will examine on 9 April the appeal filed by his lawyers against the decision of the Court of Appeal of Paris to transfer him to the ICTR. One of his lawyers, Philippe Greciano was delighted by the decision which should makes it possible for his client to remain in France to answer the questions from French justice.

Lastly, the prosecution opened a preliminary investigation following complaints filed in February against Calixte Mbarushimana, a Rwandan who worked between 1992 and 1994 for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kigali and who would be, according to the Agence France Presse (AFP), one of the leaders of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The AFP stated that Mbarushimana was arrested in April 2001 in Kosovo where he worked for the UN but in September 2002, the ICTR had abandoned prosecution against him. In 2003, he obtained refugee status in France.

In total, eight procedures are on going in Paris by judges Fabienne Pous and/or Michele Ganascia. At the end of December, the ICTR relinquished jurisdiction to the benefit of French justice so that Abbot Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and former prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta be tried. The two men have been the subject of legal proceedings for genocide and crimes against humanity in France since 1995 for Munyeshyaka and 2000 for Bucyibaruta.


© Hirondelle News Agency