The French investigation into attack against former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, which was coming to an end, took a new turn with the arrest in Germany of Rose Kabuye, Head of protocol of President Paul Kagame, the latter threatening to prosecute French politicians and soldiers accused by Kigali of having taken part in the genocide.
Mrs Kabuye, 47, former Major of RPA, belongs to the nine Rwandans which the French anti-terrorist Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere issued arrest warrants against in November 2006. The French magistrate accuses them of having organized, on order of Kagame, the assassination on 6 April 1994 of Habyarimana, which the accused have always denied.
Mrs Kabuye, who is currently detained in the women’s prison of Frankfurt, agreed to be handed over to French legal authorities, which should happen within a few days. Once in Paris, she will be presented to the successors of Judge Bruguière and will be notified of her investigation in this case opened in 1998 for “assassination and complicity in assassination in relation to a terrorist enterprise”.
The court accuses her, notably, of having hosted the commando before the attack in the CND buildings where were confined the soldiers of the RPA (Rwandan Patriotic Army- armed wing of the rebellion which seized power in Kigali).
Then the question of her placement in provisional detention will arise. French justice has jurisdiction because the crew of the presidential plane shot down by a missile above Kigali was French.
The investigation of Mrs. Kabuye will make it possible for Kigali to take note of this legal case which poisons the relationship between the two countries, Rwanda having broken off its diplomatic relations with France after the issuance of the arrest warrants. After her arrest Sunday in Frankfurt, one of her lawyers, Lev Forster, announced after that she wished to be heard by the judges.
Since May 2007, in addition to Mrs. Kabuye, two other people wanted by France, Samuel Kanyemera, known as Sam Kaka, a general and deputy of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and Jacob Tumwine, a businessman and reserve lieutenant colonel, requested of the judges, through Mr. Forster and his Belgian colleague Bernard Maingain, to be able to be heard in Rwanda without being investigated along with a certain number of witness testimonies.
Which the judges refused because the French penal procedure does not authorize the lawyer of a person targeted by an arrest mandate to take note of the investigation case as long as this one has not been arrested.
In September, the two lawyers criticized an investigation led by the prosecution explaining that they awaited the transmission of the case before an assizes court to represent their clients and “to make sure that a complete investigation be carried out at that moment”. This week, Forster indicated that his client wished to explain herself before French judges ensuring that she had nothing to do with this attack.
One of the lawyers of the families of French pilots said that the Rwandan authorities sacrificed the “fuse” Rose Kabuye in order to take note of the case to which it did not have access. All of it was probably very well orchestrated”, deploring the end of the investigation was pushed back “sine die”.
This arrest re-launches the investigation that the two French judges, Marc Trévidic and Philippe Coirre, were getting ready to end as they had recently announced to the civil parties