France - Rwanda

France orders first trial of former Rwandan army captain on genocide charges

Photo d'archive de Pascal Simbikangwa.
Photo d'archive de Pascal Simbikangwa. Interpol

  For the first time, a French court has ordered a Rwanda to face to trial over the country’s 1994 genocide, a judicial source told AFP.

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 A former Rwandan army captain, Pascal Simbikangwa, was arrested on the French island of Mayotte back in 2008. He is now facing charges of complicity in genocide and in crimes against humanity.

He can still appeal the decision to avoid trial. It is not clear yet if his lawyers will file an appeal.

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

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

However, it has repeatedly refused to extradite genocide suspects to Rwanda, for fear they would be denied a fair trial. Instead, some have been sent to Tanzania to face trial at the International Criminal Tribune for Rwanda.

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