Led by anti-terrorists judges Marc Trévidic and Nathalie Poux, the six experts delivered a three and a half hour briefing to representatives of the victims and suspects.The meeting was held in camera at the Palais de Justice of Paris and the report was not publicly released.
"These are excellent news: independent experts clear the RPF of all responsibility in the downing of the plane", Rwandan ambassador to France James Kabale told Hirondelle News Agency. "Kanombe was confirmed as the place where the shooting took place. The plane was shot by Hutu extremists without any doubts", he added.
"It clears those falsely accused of shooting down the plane and brings a decisive end to the lies and conspiracy theories that have, for far too long, tried to divert the world's attention from the actual authors of horrendous crimes that took place in Rwanda during the genocide.", Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a statement released in Kigali.
According to Bernard Maingain, one of the two RPF's lawyers attending the hearing, "our clients who were unjustly accused and investigated for years have now been proved right".
In an interview with Hirondelle News Agency, Agathe Habyarimana's lawyer Philippe Meilhac admitted that "the experts were adamant on certain conclusions". But he questioned, among others, the role of the sound expert, "who joined the investigation lately, strongly influencing other experts with his own conclusions".
"It does not matter where the shooting took place," Habyarimana's son Jean-Luc told the BBC. "What matters is who fired the missile," he said.
Parties now have three months to submit their observations and requests.
© Hirondelle News Agency