Representatives of a French association of descendants of Jews deported from France during the Nazi German occupation of France (1940–1944) –during the Holocaust– will today attend the trial of Genocide suspect Pascal Simbikangwa in France in a show of solidarity with the survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Alain Gauthier, the president of France-based rights group, Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR), told The New Times yesterday that Léon Zyguel, the last prosecution witness in the Papon trial, and Yvette Levy, born Dreyfus, who was deported in 1994 at the age of 18, will be among those present.
The trial of Simbikangwa – for his alleged role in the Genocide against the Tutsi – began on February 4, in France.
Gauthier said: “Their presence at the Tribunal of Paris during the last week of the Pascal Simbikangwa trial will simply be a manifestation of solidarity of the victims of the Holocaust with the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.”
He said also present will be several representatives of the sons and daughters of Deportees from France, including Agnes Tribel, general secretary of the Buchenwald association.
The Buchenwald Resistance was by a group of prisoners at Buchenwald, a German Nazi concentration camp established on the Ettersberg near Weimar, Germany, in 1937.
At the end of the sixth week of the trial, the verdict in Simbikangwa’s trial is expected on Friday.
A French court on February 4 begun the trial of Simbikangwa, the intelligence chief during the genocidal regime in Rwanda, who faces charges related to the Genocide.
Simbikangwa, 54, was arrested in 2008 when he was living under an alias of “Safari” on France’s Indian Ocean island of Mayotte.
The trial is the first of its kind in France, 20 years after the 100-day killing spree in which several French political and military leaders are also accused of playing a part.
Simbikangwa, a paraplegic, denies all of the charges but is accused by the French prosecution of having supplied arms to the Interahamwe militia and ordered the massacre of Tutsis in the former Gisenyi prefecture, current Rubavu District.