The Nation (Nairobi)

2 April 2008

Rwanda: Kagame Tells Spanish Judge 'Go to Hell' Over Summons

Kigali — Rwanda's president Paul Kagame has said the recent indictments issued by a Spanish judge against 40 senior Rwandan army officers 'means nothing' to him and his government.

Reacting to a question by a journalist asked during today's presidential press conference on his take on the issue, Mr Kagame responded by saying, "If I met the indicting judge I'd tell him to go to hell."

This is the first time President Kagame vehemently reacts to the indictments ever since they were issued almost a month ago. Judge Fernando Andreou Merelles of the Spanish Central Instruction Court recently issued indictments against 40 senior officers of the Rwanda Defence Forces, (RDF) formerly of the Rwanda Patriotic Army, (RPA) on allegations of committing crimes against genocide after the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.

Indictments came

Judge Andreou said the indictments came after investigations launched in 2005 into the slaying of four Spaniards who worked for Doctors Without Borders between 1990 and 2002. In a rather angry tone Mr Kagame said Rwanda's voice on the issue would inevitably be heard.

"For us these indictments mean nothing. If you look at the file, they are not indicting the individual. They are indicting the RPF, what they call the ruling party. All the 40 on that list were under my command. Is it possible that they all committed the same crime on these Spanish people," Mr Kagame angrily asked.

"There is a reason behind that and it has a connection. Some people in the west think they own us or have the authority over us. That is why some judge sits in Spain and indicts Kagame. He has no jurisdiction over us, over Rwanda. If I met him today I would tell him to go to hell," Mr Kagame added.

Mr Kagame led RPA in a liberation struggle that lasted four years from 1990 to 1994.

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