Paris, August 31, 2011 (FH) - Fabien Neretse, the former head of the Rwandan Coffee Office from 1989 to 1991, was turned over by the French judiciary to Belgium on Tuesday on account of a European arrest warrant issued on June 24 in Brussels.

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Neretse, 54, who hails from Ruhengeri, had been living in Angouleme (West of France) for several years using his father's name, Fabien Nsabimana. Two Belgian investigators, empowered by an international rogatory letter, questioned him in Angouleme on June 30. He was then taken into prison in Draguignan.

A criminal case had been opened against him in Belgium in 2004 for his alleged participation in the genocide and for crimes of war. He is namely charged for his responsibility in the murder on April 9, 1994, in Nyamirambo (Kigali) of Claire Beckers, a Belgian citizen married to a Rwandan. He allegedly incited Interahamwe militia to murder the couple.

In July 1994, the Belgian victim's sister, Martine Beckers, had filed an action against persons unknown.

According to an indictment issued by the Rwandan judiciary in August 2007, Neretse also allegedly "helped the Interahamwe providing them with weapons, transportation and funds to finance the massacres".

A police source told Hirondelle News agency in July that French judges in charge of the case, René Cros and Céline Hildenbrandt, had agreed to hand over the accused to Belgium because "the investigation was well on its way in Brussels".

Three trials related to the Rwandan genocide have already been organized in Belgium. "Four cases are currently being investigated and could lead to trials", the same source added. "However, because of Brussels court's busy schedule, no trials are expected to start before 2013".

Twenty cases linked to the Rwandan genocide are under investigation in France but, as of yet, no trial has opened.


© Hirondelle News Agency