The case in Paris of the Director General of State Protocol, Rose Kabuye, will finally be heard on January 28. The date was confirmed by the Minister of Information and government spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo yesterday during a telephone interview.
Kabuye flew back to France, last Friday, to meet judges in her trial in which she is alleged to have played a role in the shooting down of former President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane in 1994.
She is currently on bail following her arrest in Germany last November, an arrest that was based on controversial indictments that were issued by a French judge, Jean Louis Bruguière, which many insist were politically motivated.
“Her first appearance in court has been set for the 28th of this month and it is when she will hear the charges against her and give her defence,” Mushikiwabo said.
She said that the commencement of the trial would pave way to a successfully deliverance of justice for Kabuye and set precedence for the other eight senior government officials who were jointly indicted with her.
“The indictments which are also against other government officials are not exactly the same, but since they were issued by the same judge, they have the same nature which is about the downing of the plane,” Mushikiwabo observed.
She said the concocted charges against the Rwanda government officials were a tactic by the French to blur their role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.
Protests were first staged both in 2006 after the release of the indictments, which were only issued on the internet, and continued whenKabuye was arrested in Germany, which prompting the government to send home the German Ambassador.
Mushikiwabo added, “The government is fully committed to show the world that the indictments are politically motivated and illegal which will provide clarity on the charges against the other officials.”
She said it is not yet clear if each of the indicted officials would have to give their own defence, but a successful Kabuye trial would affect the others in one way or another.
In a related development, a Belgian court was yesterday supposed to hear the application by two Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Generals indicted alongside Kabuye who are contesting the legality of these indictments which were issued in November 2006.
Lt Gen Charles Kayonga, the Army Chief of Staff and Brig Gen Jack Nziza filed their case at the Belgian Court of First Instance in 2007 and have been waiting ever since for the date of their trial to be set.