Arusha, 10 November 2008 (FH) - The official of protocol of the Rwandan presidency, Mrs Rose Kabuye, targeted by an arrest warrant issued by a French investigation judge, was arrested Sunday at the Frankfurt airport, in Germany, reported Monday Radio Rwanda, a government station.

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Mrs Kabuye gave her consent to be transferred to France in order to prove her innocence, Rwandan Minister of Information, Louise Mushikiwabo, told Hirondelle Agency over phone from Kigali.

"She is an innocent woman who has been arrested following a politically motivated arrest warrant", Mushikiwabo added.

Rose Kabuye is part of the nine Rwandan officers against whom the French antiterrorist Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere issued arrest warrants in November 2006.

The French magistrate accused them of having organized, with President Paul Kagame, assassination on 6 April 1994, of his predecessor Juvenal Habyarimana, which the accused have always denied.

French justice is seized of this case because the two pilots of the presidential plane, shot down by a missile near Kigali, were Frenchmen. In the investigation, the judge recently joined together the civil parties and the close of the investigation is scheduled in a few weeks.

The parties will then have three months to request additional acts before the written arguments of the prosecution. Once the arguments given to the judge, the parties will still be able to request new acts. All that should take at least a year, if not more, before scheduling a date for a possible trial.

After having learned of the arrest of Mrs Kabuye, Rwandan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rosemary Museminali, summoned Sunday German Ambassador to officially lodge Rwanda's protest over the arrest.

On Monday afternoon, protests organized by the city hall of Kigali converged towards the Embassy of Germany.

Born in April 1961, Kabuye grew up in a refugee camp in Uganda. She took part in October 1990 in the offensive of the rebellion of Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) against the troops of President Habyarimana with the rank of a Major.

She, then, exerted the function of Governor of Kigali, then of Member of Parliament, before being named to the Head of Rwandan protocol. She is regarded as very close to President Kagame.


© Hirondelle News Agency