Rwanda condemns leakage of Ruzibiza testimony

KIGALI - The Government of Rwanda has cited conspiracy and foul play by some French elements for ‘leaking’ to the press the testimony Joshua Ruzibiza purportedly given to a French judge, referring to the incident as a “scheme to scandalise Rwanda.”
Tharcisse Karugarama (File photo)
Tharcisse Karugarama (File photo)

KIGALI - The Government of Rwanda has cited conspiracy and foul play by some French elements for ‘leaking’ to the press the testimony Joshua Ruzibiza purportedly given to a French judge, referring to the incident as a “scheme to scandalise Rwanda.”

Ruzibiza, 40, died Thursday of cancer in Oslo, Norway where he had been living for over a decade. Shortly after his death, an excerpt of his so-called testimony which he gave to French Judge Marc Trevidic was published in a French magazine Mariannne.

In an interview with The New Times, Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said that the leakage of the “highly confidential” document containing the testimony Ruzibiza made to a French Judge in Norway is “very shocking.”

“We have received the information about the leakage of a confidential judicial statement made by the late Ruzibiza to the Judge in Norway. This information of judicial nature being leaked to the press is very shocking,”

“A judicial file is supposed to be confidential; it is supposed to be protected. If there are people who have access to the judges file and they can go in and pull out information and send it to the media, that’s extremely dangerous and we are expressing grave concern over that development,” Karugarama said.

Karugarama said that it is “unusual” for an investigative judge’s file to be leaked to the press, adding that the fact that a full excerpt was published shows that someone in the office of the judge deliberately leaked the information.

“That is extremely dangerous. We don’t know what else they could leak out, we don’t know what people could be interested in to have extremely confidential judicial documents leaked out,” he said.

“We find it extremely dangerous and its bothering us a lot. We have received that information with great indignation and we are very scandalised, that that could happen,”.

The Magazine said that there was much more to the hearing than what was published and said of Ruzibiza: “We have lost somebody who could have provided very interesting explanations on how the investigation was manipulated under Bruguiere.”

The same French Judges were in Rwanda last week carrying out investigations into the shooting of the plane that was carrying former President Juvenal Habyarimana. The findings are expected in March.

The former RPF lieutenant claimed in a book that he was part of the commando unit that shot the President Habyarimana plane down and became the key witness in the investigation launched in 2006 by the French anti-terror judge, but he later retracted his testimony.

Ruzibiza had retracted several of his claims when he was heard in France following the arrest of former chief of protocol Rose Kabuye. He said that he made up the claims to get close to the French to understand why they hated the Tutsi.

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