Arusha, 4 November 2008 (FH) - Pascal Simbikangwa, a Rwandan wanted for his alleged involvement in1994 genocide, was arrested last Tuesday on the French island of Mayotte, Indian Ocean, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).

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Simbikangwa was apparently arrested in a counterfeit documents case. The investigation led to discover that he was subject of an international arrest warrant for genocide, complicity and conspiracy in genocide, as well as for organized crime. He has already appeared in Court.

The accused, held the rank of a Captain in Rwanda, where he worked for the President's security services, has his both legs paralyzed and goes by a nickname of "wheel chair".

A subordinate officer, he has never been indicted by the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which is trying key suspects of the 1994 killings, it was learned Monday from a source in Arusha.

Last weekend, Simbikangwa appeared before a judge charged with counterfeit documents and his involvement in organized crime.

The Mayotte authorities will consider the accused's extradition request of Rwandan authorities to French government, said Marc Brisset-Foucault, Public Prosecutor in Mayotte.

The request will be examined simultaneously with the counterfeit documents, he added. The counterfeit proceedings, for which he faces up to 10 years in prison, is scheduled for 10 November.

Simbikangwa arrived illegally in Mayotte in 2005, after five years in the Comoros, another French island. Simbikangwa was trafficking counterfeit documents under the false identity of Safari Sedinawara.

With the two identities (of the suspect), the police were able to contact International Police (INTERPOL) to see whether the person was a wanted man.


© Hirondelle News Agency