French judge reopens inquiry into Habyarimana plane crash

KIGALI - Recent media reports indicate that a French investigating magistrate – Judge Marc Trévidic, has reopened investigations about who was responsible for shooting down former President Juvenal Habyarimana’s Falcon 50 plane in April 1994.
Prosecution Spokesperson Augustine Nkusi (File Photo)
Prosecution Spokesperson Augustine Nkusi (File Photo)

KIGALI - Recent media reports indicate that a French investigating magistrate – Judge Marc Trévidic, has reopened investigations about who was responsible for shooting down former President Juvenal Habyarimana’s Falcon 50 plane in April 1994.

News of the French inquiry comes after a recently publicized ‘Mutsinzi Report’ revealed that Habyarimana’s assassination was the work of extremists in the latter’s government who believed that killing their own leader would end an imminent power-sharing pact – the Arusha Accords, with the then advancing RPA/RPF.

Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported that Trévidic has named a commission of five experts and plans to visit Rwanda next year. Prosecution spokesperson, Augustin Nkusi, confirmed the reports saying that the move to come and investigate on ground is appreciated.

“They will come – even the minister of justice recently appreciated this move by a French judge to come here and investigate, unlike the earlier investigation where the judge did not bother to get the facts on the ground,” Nkusi said yesterday.

RFI reported that Trévidic and an assistant – Nathalie Poux, recently convened the group of experts in ballistics, explosives, aeronautics and geometry to plan a reconstruction of the crash on the ground in Rwanda.

Trevidic’s predecessor, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, previously accused the RPF of shooting down the plane, a move that led Rwanda to cut diplomatic ties with France.

Without bothering to conduct an ‘on ground’ investigation, Bruguière, had earlier came up with a report alleging that top officials in the current Rwandan government had planned the Falcon 50 shooting.

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