Rwanda’s Chief of State Protocol, Rose Kabuye, has refuted claims that her arrest in Germany was a plan by the government of Rwanda to get access to the charges in Bruguière’s indictments.
Kabuye, a senior Rwandan official and one of the people who stopped the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, has been indicted by a Paris court for the alleged shooting down of a plane carrying former President Juvenal Habyarimana.
In a press conference held in Paris Friday, Rose Kabuye said that she was surprised by her arrest and firmly denied that Kigali intentionally sent her on an official visit well knowing she would be arrested.
“I knew that I was at risk, but I had a diplomatic passport and an official letter from my government to travel and to show the authorities that I was on an official mission. Nobody would ever want to leave one’s country, one’s family, to be arrested,” she told journalists.
Kabuye was arrested on a French arrest warrant at Germany’s Frankfurt airport two weeks ago when she was in the country to prepare President Paul Kagame’s visit. She was extradited to France after spending eleven days in detention but was granted bail after appearing before a French judge.
“You should have seen me when I was in prison, when I was calling my children knowing that I was not going to see them for a long time,” Kabuye said as she told journalists.
Kabuye was indicted together with eight other Rwandan officials by French judge Jean Louis Bruguière in a heavily contested report that he released in 2006.
Rwandan officials and many analysts said that the report was doctored by France to cover up its purported role in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.
“These indictments are an abuse of international law. It is political and judicial bullying that Rwanda will not accept,” said Rwanda’s Minister of Information, Louise Mushikiwabo, reacting to circumstances of Kabuye’s arrest.
Among Kabuye’s bail conditions, are that she cannot leave France without permission from a judge and she has to report to police every fifteen days.
“I am confident that by the time I leave - I don’t know when - everything will have come out and my innocence will have been proved…I will be around [in France] until my innocence is accepted,” she said.
Her arrest was widely condemned. Hundreds of thousands of people protested across the world following her arrest, denouncing what they called a ‘violation of human rights’ and an ‘attack on Rwanda’s sovereignty’.