Agathe Habyarimana, widow of Juvénal Habyarimana, the Hutu president whose assassination on April 6, 1994 triggered the massacres against the Tutsi minority in Rwanda, has been the target since 2008 by an investigation in France into his role during the genocide, initiated by a complaint of the Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR).
→ READ. “Crimes against humanity”: new investigation launched in France against a Rwandan
In 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. Now 78 years old, she invoked the “Unreasonable delay” of the investigation to ask the investigating judges to close their investigations. They rejected his request in November, arguing in particular that investigative acts were ” in progress “. She then appealed. But Monday, August 30, the Paris Court of Appeal ruled “Inadmissible” his request for a dismissal on procedural grounds.
Without legal status
“We hide the debate at bottom to stick to legal quibbles”, regretted Monday his lawyer, Me Philippe Meilhac. “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 laments. “It is a deplorable situation because it blocks any possibility of regularizing his administrative situation”.
Settled in France since 1998, Agathe Habyarimana is in fact without legal status since France refused to extradite her to Rwanda in 2011, but did not grant her asylum due to suspicions about the role she may have played in the ‘one of the worst tragedies of the twentieth century.
She is often presented as one of the leaders of the« akazu », the inner circle of Hutu power which, according to its accusers, planned and orchestrated the genocide, during which approximately 800,000 people, mainly in the Tutsi minority, were killed.
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 added. “What follow-up will be given to the judicial investigation in this case? Will the French justice still drag its feet for years and wait for Ms. Habyarimana to disappear, so that the case will be extinguished? “, he asked himself.