A Belgian newspaper “Le Soir” has exposed the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere in a report indicating that the translator he used in his highly contested indictments against nine senior Rwandan officials, was a close relative of Genocide mastermind Felicien Kabuga.
Kabuga is Africa’s most wanted fugitive who is accused of masterminding the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, in which over a million people died.
According to the Le Soir, Bruguiere, who issued the indictments, used the services of Fabien Singaye a son-in-law of Kabuga as his translator.
The former French Judge Bruguiere, issued the indictments against the officials, all former members of the Rwanda Patriotic Army allegedly for playing a role in the shooting down of the plane that carried former president Juvenal Habyarimana.
Le Soir has thus concluded that the dose of investigations by Judge Bruguire was slowly getting diluted.
These fresh revelations by the Belgian paper bring more doubt into the credibility of the Bruguiere investigations, after French journalist Christophe Boltanski, alleged that Bruguiere built his case under the shadow of the French secret service, DST, with which he had a cosy relationship that spanned over decades.
“It appears that the judge did not go to the field, did not confront contradictory testimonies nor re-examine the facts. But he opted witnesses who had been brought to him ‘on a silver plate’, and whose remarks were translated by Singaye,” claimed Le Soir, furthering Bruguiere’s woes in keeping the fragile case together.
Bruguiere’s translator Singaye was an intelligence agent of the Rwandan regime in 1992 living in Switzerland.
He also worked with Paul Barril, a former gendarme, who was in the 1980’s close to the French presidency. Barril later turned up as a private security operative for the Habyarimana family.
Barril, it emerged during the compilation of the Rwandan commissioned report on the role France played in the Genocide, was responsible for several clandestine operations in Rwanda and used to work closely with Jean Christophe Mitterrand, former French president Francois Mitterrand’s son.
“With a translator like Singaye, it is not astonishing to note that witnesses like Emmanuel Ruzigana (who does not speak French) stated not to have recognized anything from the remarks made during his appearance before the judge (Bruguiere),” reports Le Soir.
Ruzigana together with others who were considered ‘key witnesses’ in the case last year retracted his testimony claiming to have been influenced by officials from the French Presidency.
In a similar twist, Louis Gautier, the former advisor on Defence and Strategic Affairs to former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, criticized Bruguiere’s cloak -and-dagger stuff.
“He should have kept his distance from the intelligence services, but it was a difficult endeavour because of the links he had woven with the services for very many years,” remarked Gautier earlier this year.
It was on the basis of Bruguiere’s indictments that Director of State Protocol, Rose Kabuye, was arrested in Germany last year, she has since been released and her warrant of arrest lifted by a French court.