The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Rose Kabuye Makes First Appearance Before Paris Judges

Kigali — The Director of State Protocol, Rose Kabuye, yesterday appeared before a panel of French judges, to provide elements of her defence against accusations levelled against her by French magistrate Jean Louis Bruguière.

The development was confirmed yesterday evening by Information Minister and government spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, who said that the purpose of her appearance was for the judges to hear the merits of the case before the trial starts in substance.

"It was a good opportunity for her to explain to the judges the proper context of the case. It was also an opportunity for Rwandans in general because our history will be put in the proper context," explained Mushikiwabo.

The Minister, said that the deliberations on this particular hearing could not be completed by yesterday but said the next appearance had not been readily set by the judges.

"We expect it to be in the near future."

The appearance follows Kabuye's arrest in Germany in November last year over allegations by Bruguière that she together with eight other senior Rwandan officials played a role in the shooting down of a plane that was carrying former President Juvenal Habyarimana.

"The commencement of these hearings will help bring out the truth and this is what we want it will determine if or not there will be a trial," she said.

The hearing which was held in camera, in a Paris court Chambers was only attended by Kabuye and her lawyers. According to legal experts, the outcome of this hearing will set precedence for other cases involving other former commanders of the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPA) with whom Kabuye was indicted.

Many have said that the case is politically motivated.

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