French Judges begin investigations

TWO French judges together with a team of experts in aeronautics and ballistics yesterday embarked on a week long investigations into the shooting of a plane carrying former Presidents Juvenal Habyarimana and 11 others.

TWO French judges together with a team of experts in aeronautics and ballistics yesterday embarked on a week long investigations into the shooting of a plane carrying former Presidents Juvenal Habyarimana and 11 others.

The Judges; Marc Trévidic and Nathalie Poux, arrived in Kigali Saturday after the Government granted their request to carry out independent investigations into the shooting that took place on April 6, 1994.

Among those killed was the President of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira and three French citizens; Jacky Heraud Jean-Pierre Minaberry and Jean Michel Perrine.

In a statement announcing the start of the investigations, the French judges will conduct “objective investigations” in an “independent and transparent manner.”

According to Trévidic, the investigation will be conducted with an objective to find the real person behind and the shooting the plane and also verify the two contradicting theories available.

“Information gathered during the judicial investigation and was later enriched by the investigation mission by the French and Belgian Parliaments revealed two contradicting outcomes, resulting into two French Judges carrying out more investigations in Rwanda.

“As a result, the French Judges requested the Government of Rwanda for cooperation in the investigation and the request was favourably honoured,” the statement reads in part.

The two judges are accompanied by a representative of the Public Prosecutor of Paris to and members of the judicial police as well as a team of experts with vast experience in aeronautics, ballistics and topography to assist in the investigations.

“The investigation team will study the two contradicting theories, how pertinent they are and if there connection between them based on the configuration of the sites and the revelations of witness,” Trévidic and his team announced.

“The investigations, to be conducted in an independent and transparent manner, will be impartial and objective and the two concerned parties will be involved and will follow the investigations as they happen”.

The outcomes of the investigations are expected in January 2011.
Rwanda has already promised to cooperate with the French judges.

An earlier investigations carried out by French Judge Louis Brugueire, which sought to lay blame on the RPF, was roundly denounced by both Rwanda and the wider international community.

Brugueire, who never set foot in Rwanda, relied largely on testimonies by genocide perpetrators, most of them imprisoned at the ICTR in Arusha.

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