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France charges suspect over Rwanda genocide

Published on September 16, 2021

A man in his seventies was charged in France on Thursday in connection with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the anti-terrorist prosecutor in Paris said.

Rwandan-born Isaak Kamali, a naturalised French citizen who has been on France’s judicial radar since 2009, was charged with “genocide” and “crimes against humanity”.

The prosecutor, in a statement, said Kamali is accused of “involvement in the genocide of Tutsis committed in 1994 in Rwanda”.

Contacted by AFP, the accused lawyer did not wish to comment.

Kamali, who hails from central Rwanda, was employed at the ministry of transport during the genocide, which the United Nations says left some 800,000 people dead, mainly from the ethnic Tutsi minority, between April and July of 1994

The anti-terrorist prosecutor said that the suspect disputed the charges against him during his first appearance before a French judge.

Kamali was condemned to death, in absentia, by a court in Rwanda in 2003, but this sentenced was later “annulled” due to changes in Rwandan law, according to a French-based victims’ association, the Collective of Civil Plaintiffs for Rwanda (CPCR).

He is still wanted by Rwandan justice but France has so far refused to extradite him.