The Paris Court of Appeal ruled, Monday, August 30, “Inadmissible” for formal questions the request for dismissal of Agathe Habyarimana, suspected of being involved in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, Agence France-Presse (AFP) learned from a judicial source.
Mme Habyarimana is the widow of Juvénal Habyarimana, Hutu president whose assassination on April 6, 1994, triggered the massacres against the Tutsi minority. Mme Habyarimana, 78, has been the target since 2008 by an investigation in France into his role in the 1994 genocide, launched following a complaint by the Collectif des parties civililes pour le Rwanda (CPCR). As part of this procedure, she was placed in 2016 under the status of assisted witness, intermediary between witness and indicted, and has not been questioned since on the facts.
Mme Habyarimana invoked the “Unreasonable delay” of the investigation to ask the judges to close their investigations. They had rejected his request in November, arguing in particular that investigative acts were ” in progress “. She then appealed.
800,000 dead in three months
“We hide the debate at bottom to stick to legal quibbles”, reacted his lawyer, Philippe Meilhac, Monday. “This is a case in which we have not had any new information for five years and no more since his request for dismissal” last year, he said. “It is a deplorable situation, because it blocks any possibility of regularizing his administrative situation”, also added Mr. Meilhac.
Based in France since 1998, Mme Habyarimana is de facto without legal status since France refused in 2011 her extradition to Rwanda, without however granting her asylum due to suspicions about the role she may have played in one of the worst tragedies of the 20th century.e century.
She is often presented as one of the leaders of theakazu, the first circle of Hutu power which, according to its accusers, planned and orchestrated the genocide, which killed more than 800,000 people in three months. Mme Habyarimana disputes this.
Contacted by AFP, Alain Gauthier, co-founder of the CPCR, “Glad” of the decision of the court of appeal. “But the main thing is not said”, he estimated. “What follow-up will be given to the judicial investigation in this case? Will French justice still drag its feet for years and wait for Mr.me Habyarimana disappears, so the file will be extinguished? “, asked Mr. Gauthier.
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