French activists file case against Genocide suspect


Alain and Dafroza Gauthier are legal representatives of the Civil Society Organisation that has worked to bring to book genocide fugitives living in France. / Net photo

French judges could soon launch an  investigation into genocide crimes committed by Rwandan national Michel Bakuzakundi, who lives and works in French northern city of Le Havre.

This follows a case filed late last year against Bakuzakundi by the “Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR)”; a French based organisation.

Bakuzakundi is accused of  participating in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, according to a communique posted on the organisation website on Monday.

“On November 23, 2017, the CPCR filed a new complaint against a person suspected of having participated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The testimonies collected by our association concern events that allegedly occurred in the City of Kigali, specifically in the neighborhood of Remera,” reads part of the communiqué.

The association indicates that the complaint was received by French authorities and what remains is the work of the judges to conduct investigation on the alleged crimes.

Nearly 24 years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, CPCR says that evidence is increasingly getting hard to find and witnesses lack or prefer not to testify because of distrust in the french judicial system.

There has been only one trial in France-that of Pascal Simbikangwa, who was convicted of genocide and sentenced to 25 years in prison in March 2014.

In 2018, French justice is expected to start the hearing in appeal of Octavien Ngenzi and Tito Barahira, the former mayors of Kabarondo in eastern Rwanda. They are expected to appear in court between May 2 and July 6.

The duo was sentenced by the Paris’ Cour d’Assises to life in prison.

Another suspect, Claude Muhayimana, is also expected to appear in court this year in France but the date of the hearing has not yet been announced.

Alain Gauthier and his Rwandan wife, Dafroza Gauthier, started CPCR, in 2001 with the view to ensure that Genocide suspects living in France and across Europe are brought to book.