Brussels, 8 April 2009 (FH) - The Belgian Newspaper "Le Soir "(The Evening) reported in its Monday edition that Rwandan translator who had assisted French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere in his investigations was "engaged" because he was related to Felicien Kabuga, one of the most wanted persons by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania.

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According to journalist Ms Colette Braeckmann, new documents discovered in Switzerland disclose that translator, Fabien Singaye, was the son-in-law of Kabuga.

 Kabuga is alleged as one of financiers of the genocide, which claimed lives of about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus between April and July, 1994.

 "With a translator like Singaye, it is not astonishing to note that witnesses like Emmanuel Ruzigana (who does not speak French) stated not to have recognized anything from the remarks made during his appearance before the judge{Bruguiere]", observed Mrs Braeckmann.

 Also related to family of the former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, Singaye, "Le Soir" added, has allegedly been an intelligence agent of the Rwandan regime in 1992 when he lived in Switzerland. He also worked with Paul Barril, former gendarme, who was close in 1980's to the French presidency. Barril later turned as private security operator for the Habyarimana family and played a role still controversial in Rwanda at the time of the genocide.

 The journalist of "Le Soir" thus considers that the dose of investigations by Judge Bruguire was slowly getting diluted.

 After Emmanuel Ruzigana, a refugee in Norway, who accused the French judge to have distorted his remarks, another "key witness", Abdul Ruzibiza, retracted his statement last November. Author of "Rwanda, The Secret History (Rwanda, l'histoire secrète)'' in 2005, Ruzibiza alleged (in his book) to the RPF, currently in power, the responsibility for the attack of 6 April 1994 against the presidential plane.

 On 17 November 2006, Judge Bruguiere had issued international arrest warrants against nine persons close to President Paul Kagame.

 According to the French judge, these people allegedly took part in the attack of 6 April 1994 against the plane of President Habyarimana, which triggered the genocide.

 These warrants led to severing of diplomatic ties between France and Rwanda.

Rose Kabuye, Chief of Protocol of President Kagame, was arrested in Frankfort on 9 November 2008, and was among persons targeted by the warrants. She was transferred to France then released under judicial review.

 According to Ms Braeckman, the arrest allowed her lawyers - and thus Rwanda - to have access to the Bruguiere's file.

 "It appears that the Judge did not go to the field, did not confront contradictory testimonies nor re-examine the facts. But he trusted witnesses who had been brought to him ‘on a silver plater', and whose remarks were translated by Singaye," claimed the journalist.

"The hearings were prepared by a man [...] who had promised to the prosecution witnesses visas and residence permits in exchange of information", she adds.


© Hirondelle News Agency