Rwanda's Kabuye to return to France to hear charges

Rose Kabuye, a close ally of current Rwandan leader Paul Kagame, was arrested in Germany in November on an international warrant issued by France.

Rwanda's Kabuye to return to France to hear charges

A senior Rwandan official accused of involvement in the killing of a president that is blamed for triggering Rwanda's genocide will return to France on Friday to appear in court, the Rwandan government said on Thursday.

Rose Kabuye, a close ally of current Rwandan leader Paul Kagame, was arrested in Germany in November on an international warrant issued by France. She was later freed on bail by a French judge and allowed to return to Rwanda for Christmas.

She is charged in connection with the assassination of ethnic Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose plane was shot down by unknown gunmen in April 1994.

Soon after, Hutus began massacring minority Tutsis and some moderate Hutus, killing 800,000 people in 100 days.

"It is very important Rose Kabuye faces charges to clear her name and expose the legal fraud that are the indictments," said Rwandan government spokeswoman Louise Mushikiwabo.

"She appears in court, we believe, next week to hear charges and give her defence for the first time ... a trial date will be set after this step. It is likely that the court finds there is no case after hearing and will dismiss it."

Rwanda has condemned the arrest of Kabuye, its director of state protocol, saying she was on official government business when detained and therefore should have enjoyed diplomatic immunity. Kigali expelled the German ambassador and recalled its envoy from Berlin.

Rwanda broke off diplomatic ties with Paris in 2006 after a French anti-terrorism judge issued arrest warrants for Kabuye and other Rwandan government officials.

In August, Kigali accused 33 senior French political and military officials of involvement in the genocide.

France supported the Hutu-led regime that ruled Rwanda in the years leading up to the massacres, but has always denied involvement in the mass killings.

Reuters
Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2009, 15:16
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