French prosecutors seek trial for Rwanda genocide suspect

March 4, 2013 12:19 pm


Skulls of people in the 1994 Rwandan genocide/AFP
Skulls of people in the 1994 Rwandan genocide/AFP
PARIS, March 4 – Prosecutors on Monday called for a former captain in the Rwandan army to be put on trial in what would be France’s first prosecution for the country’s 1994 genocide.

Investigating magistrates with a special crimes against humanity division will decide whether Pascal Simbikangwa, a 53-year-old arrested on the French island of Mayotte in 2008, will face the charges of “complicity in genocide”.

Simbikangwa, a former intelligence officer under Rwanda’s Hutu government, was arrested under an international arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in the genocide, which killed some 800,000 people over three months.

France in early 2010 set up a new unit to try cases of genocide and crimes against humanity involving suspects detained in France.

France has repeatedly refused to extradite genocide suspects to Rwanda, fearing they would be denied a fair trial, but has sent some to Tanzania to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).


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