Paris, September 7, 2011 (FH) - France based victims' organization Collectif des parties civiles pour le Rwanda(CPCR) has filed a complaint against Manassé Bigwenzare, a 76-year old Rwandan suspected of "having planned the 1994 genocide in the Murambi area".

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According to a statement released by the CPCR, the complaint was sent on September 2 to the Office of the Prosecutor of the Pontoise's tribunal (near Paris). Eleven testimonies originating from the Office of the Prosecutor in Rwanda were enclosed with the complaint.

Rwanda issued an international arrest warrant against Bigwenzare on December 11, 2008.

Bigwenzare is suspected of having planned the genocide alongside the former bougmestre of Murambi, Jean-Baptiste Gatete, who was sentenced in March 2011 to life in jail by the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) and is now awaiting appeals trial. Both men allegedly participated together in the massacre at Kiziguro church on April 11, 1994.

According to CPCR's lawyer Emmanuelle Debouverie, Manassé Bigwenzare had been presiding the local court of Murambi before 1994. However, she ignored what his profession was during the genocide, and couldn't indicate Bigwenzare's legal status in France.

"Many elements of information about him  are still unknown", she told Hirondelle News Agency. "We only have presumptions that we wished to share with the French justice".

Bigwenzare's name does not appear in the judgment rendered by the ICTR in Gatete's case.

Gatete's lawyer Marie-Pierre Poulain told Hirondelle News Agency on the phone that she had "never heard the name of Bigwenzare during the lengthy proceeding" before the ICTR. "I can note with surprise that the Rwandan elite of the former regime systematically ends up, often tardily, on Mr. Kagame's list [of alleged genocidaires]".

If CPCR's complaint is accepted, it should be transferred to the Paris Tribunal where specialized judges are already handling twenty cases of Rwandan genocide suspects.


© Hirondelle News Agency