French examining magistrates have ordered the referral to the Paris Assize Court of Rwandan doctor Eugène Rwamucyo for “genocide” and “crime against humanity”, Agence France-Presse (AFP) learned on Thursday. judicial.
The 61-year-old man, who now resides in Belgium, is also expelled for “ complicity ”and“ criminal association with a view to the preparation of these crimes ”committed between April and July 1994 in Rwanda, a period during which the killings left almost 800,000 dead, mainly among the Tutsi minority.
“My client formally disputes the accusations”, reacted to AFP his lawyer, Me Philippe Meilhac, who has announced that he wants to appeal the order. “If, however, a trial should be held, Eugène Rwamucyo will face it with serenity”, he added. It was following a complaint against Mr. Rwamucyo filed in particular by the Collectif des parties civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR) that an investigation was opened in 2007 in Lille (North), then moved to Paris the year next.
“My client was a doctor, as such he was in charge of the burial of bodies”
Mr. Rwamucyo is notably accused by Kigali of having participated in meetings of genocidal officials in Butare (southern Rwanda) in 1994, one of which was under the aegis of the then Prime Minister, Jean Kambanda, sentenced to death. life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
He is also suspected of having directed the mass burial operations of the bodies of Tutsi civilians during the massacres committed between April and July 1994, and ordered the completion and burial of survivors, according to elements of the order of the judges known to AFP.
“My client was a medical officer of health in the Butare region and as such, he was in charge of the burial of the bodies”, explained Me Meilhac. “Now he is criticized for taking advantage of this essential mission to attack survivors”, he regretted. Mr. Rwamucyo was sentenced in absentia in 2007 in Rwanda to life imprisonment. A doctor at Maubeuge hospital (North), he was suspended in October 2009 when the management of the establishment learned that he was the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by Kigali. He was then fired.
A first indictment in 2013
Pursuant to this mandate, Mr. Rwamucyo was finally arrested in May 2010 in Sannois (Paris region) when he had just attended the funeral of another Rwandan, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, co-founder of Radio-television libre of a thousand hills, the extremist anti-Tutsi radio station. The Versailles Court of Appeal, however, opposed his extradition in September 2010, ordering his release.
He had been indicted for the first time in 2013 for “participation in an agreement to commit the crime of genocide”, then in 2018 for “genocide” and “crimes against humanity”, and placed under judicial control, with ban on leaving the Schengen area.