French judge chases Rwandan presidential aides

23rd November 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 23, 2006 (AFP) - France's top anti-terrorism judge has signed international arrest warrants for nine aides of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame as part of a probe into the death of the country's former leader, which sparked the 1994 genocide, a source close to the inquiry said Thursday.

PARIS, Nov 23, 2006 (AFP) - France's top anti-terrorism judge has signed international arrest warrants for nine aides of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame as part of a probe into the death of the country's former leader, which sparked the 1994 genocide, a source close to the inquiry said Thursday.

Nine of the president's senior associates, including James Kabarebe, or Kabare, a senior army officer, are targeted in the French probe into the downing of the plane of then Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana.

They are wanted for "murder" and "accessory to murder".

Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière signed the international warrants on Wednesday after approval by the state prosecutor's office and the documents will be circulated in all of Interpol's member countries.

Bruguière unleashed a storm this week by calling for Kagame himself to face prosecution for war crimes before the Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for alleged involvement in Habyarimana's death.

The UN genocide tribunal for Rwanda said Thursday it was at nobody's behest to prosecute Kagame — who has angrily rejected the French judge's call.

Kagame, who headed the Tutsi rebel force that took power in Kigali in July 1994, halting the slaughter, has always denied any involvement in the attack on the aircraft carrying the Hutu heads of state.

Ties between Kigali and Paris are frosty, with Rwanda accusing France of complicity in the 100-day genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were slaughtered by Hutu extremists.

Paris has adamantly denied the allegation but Kigali has set up a commission to determine if there is evidence to file suit against France for damages at the world court.

The commission is set to resume public hearings between December 11 and 19.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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