Rwanda wants France to try arrested Genocide fugitive

Rwanda has called on France to show ‘commitment’ and carry out speedy trial of Pascal Simbikangwa, one of the most wanted masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwanda has called on France to show ‘commitment’ and carry out speedy trial of Pascal Simbikangwa, one of the most wanted masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Simbikangwa, currently in detention in France was arrested in October last year by authorities in Mayotte, an outside territory of France on accusations of fraud and forgery, but was later found to be a wanted Genocide suspect.

Recent reports indicate that Simbikangwa, arrested by authorities on the French island for operating a lucrative chain of manufacturing false documents over the years, was on June, 3, transferred to Paris.

His case was moved to Paris due to its nature and the “international ramifications” that are connected to it. French judges reviewed the case on Friday.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, the Spokesperson of the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), Augustin Nkusi, said that it’s evident that French Authorities are putting more weight to the forgery cases than the Genocide ones.

“On several occasions we have applied for his extradition but the requests were let down, despite Interpol issuing an arrest warrant on him,” Nkusi said.

“We would at least expect France to take the Genocide cases seriously and sentence him. We have enough evidence regarding his role in the Genocide” Nkusi added.

According to Prosecution, Simbikangwa, remembered for his notoriety and torture tactics when he was the head of the Criminal Intelligence Agency (CRA) known as Criminologie, a unit charged with the task of compiling lists of people to be killed during the 1994 Genocide, is wanted by Interpol for committing a multitude of crimes, including genocide and complicity in genocide and conspiracy as well as organized crime.

Born in 1959 in Karago, Gisenyi, Simbikangwa managed to disguise himself for many years as Safari Sedinawara using a sophisticated Computer software to manufacture passports and other travel documents.

He lived in the Indian Ocean Islands of Comoros until he relocated to Mayotte in 2005 where he operated the cartel expected to have produced over 3,000 false documents which could easily pass as genuine, at a cost of 100 Euros each.

A close confidant of President Habyarimana, Simbikangwa was a member of ‘Akazu’ (inner circle), an extremist Genocidaire group consisting of people close related to Habyarimana and his wife and is known to have orchestrated the killings.

He also used to publish lists of ‘domestic enemies’ to be eliminated in the Kangura Magazine and mobilised militias who would carry out the killings.

“It’s very unfortunate that at one time this man whose name and reputation are still fresh in the memories of many, was at one time released on bail despite all the available evidence pinning him” added Nkusi.

In a related development, officials from the Finish court will travel to Rwanda sometime this month to gather evidence against Francois Bazaramba, a genocide suspect on trial in Finland.

Over 38 witnesses have been lined to testify against the former Baptist Church priest when the officials arrive in the country after the first hearing set for June 16th.

State Prosecution has in the past expressed willingness to provide witnesses to pin Bazaramba who orchestrated the killings of over 5,000 people in Nyakizu, Butare in the Southern Pronvince. 

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