Another Genocide suspect indicted in France

Another Genocide fugitive was yesterday questioned by judges in the French capital, Paris, over his alleged participation in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, French media reported. 

Another Genocide fugitive was yesterday questioned by judges in the French capital, Paris, over his alleged participation in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, French media reported. 

Dr Charles Twagira, who worked as a regional health director in former Kibuye prefecture, western Rwanda, allegedly ordered the killing of scores of people, especially in the hospital that he managed during the Genocide.

He is just one among the many whose indictments were pressed by rights activists. 

The Paris-based organisation Collective Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR), which advocates for the rights of the 1994 Genocide survivors, sued him back in December 2009. 

Twagira, an evangelist who first worked as a doctor in the French city of Rouen, was arrested in Vire, a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France, where he had found work. 

CPCR president Alain Gauthier said: “I had spotted him for several months in the hospital of Vire and had written to the director of the hospital as well as to his service manager to inquire about his presence,” Gauthier told The New Times yesterday. 

As far back as 2009, Twagira, who is accused of various counts of genocide, complicity in genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity, worked at a hospital in the city of Rouen.  

At the time, he had just been naturalised as a French citizen.

Other cases

News about Twagira’s questioning comes just days after a French court last week sentenced Pascal Simbikangwa to 25 years in prison after finding him guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.  

Simbikangwa appealed against the verdict this week.

The trial of the former Rwandan spy chief in France’s Cour d’Assises (Assize Court), started on February 4 and the verdict was delivered on February 14. 

Many dubbed Simbikangwa’s trial a milestone, being France’s first-ever Genocide trial and conviction, but the European nation continues to harbour dozens of known masterminds of the Genocide such as Agathe Kanziga, the widow of former President Juvenal Habyarimana.  

The CPCR has tracked down and sued 25 such suspects in France, Paris has been accused of indifference.  

Activists believe that a positive momentum was engineered back in early 2012 when a special unit composed of three full-time judges was created in the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) of Paris, to investigate the cases.  

Simbikangwa’s trial came at a time when his maximum provisional detention period–four years–had ended. 

Since provisional custody could not exceed four years, two options remained: taking him to court or setting him free. 

The French judiciary opted for a trial, but, apparently, not without significant shoving and pushing from the CPCR and other associations.

 

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