20 September 2013

Rwanda: France Charges Rwandan Doctor With Planning Genocide

French judges have charged a Rwandan doctor with planning genocide, a judicial source said Friday. Rwanda has issued an international arrest warrant against Eugene Rwamucyo accusing him of planning and carrying out atrocities in the Butare region in the south of the country in 1994.

After examining Rwanda's case, French judges who investigate crimes against humanity decided to charge Rwamucyo with "involvement in an agreement with a view of committing the crime of genocide", an anonymous source told the AFP news agency.

But they named him as a "supervised witness" - a status that means that he can be interviewed under caution - on the more serious charges of committing genocide and of complicity, the source said.

"The fact that my client was placed under the status of supervised witness, and not under formal investigation, for 'genocide' shows the judges have doubts on this case and on the complaint that was made against him," his lawyer, Philippe Meilhac, said.

The families of genocide victims have filed a complaint against Rwamucyo, who lives in Belgium.

He used to work in a hospital in northern France but was suspended and later fired when mamangement discovered he was the subject of an international arrest warrant.

A French court refused to extradite him in 2010.

France has repeatedly refused to extradite genocide suspects to Rwanda, on the grounds that they might be denied a fair trial, but has sent some to Tanzania to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

There are currently about 20 genocide-related cases pending in French courts.

An estimated 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were massacred over the course of about 100 days from April to July 1994.

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