French Courts Dismiss Rwandan Government Case Against Rafiki Muhindo Hyacinthe
Former Rwandan Public Works Minister Rafiki Hyancinthe Muhindo who was detained in France following an INTERPOL notice initiated upon the request of the current Rwandan government has been cleared today on September 28, 2011, by French courts of the accusations leveled against him. He was accused of participating in or leading 1994 Rwandan massacres.
The French courts dismissed the case after the Rwandan government failed to bring in allocated period the requested formal accusations. Also, based on sources in France and according to the judgment, French judges determined the case to be frivolous because of the contradictions in the accusations and the material facts.
The Rwandan government, whose leader Geneal Paul Kagame is accused of assassinating his predecessor has been lobbying the French goverment and judicial system to have Hyancithe Rafiki judged in France or extradited to and prosecuted in Rwanda. The lobbying and intense media and diplomatic campaign financed by the Rwandan government started when Rafiki Hyacinthe participated as a National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader in Rome and Kisangani peace efforts aimed at getting Rwandan rebels based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to peacefully repatriate to Rwanda.
NDC is a coalition between two armed opposition parties, the Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana) and Rally for Rwandan People (RPR-Inkeragutabara).
The Rwandan government intelligence services hired a consultant, Rakiya Omaar to build a case against Rafiki Hyancinthe. Attempts to kidnap Rafiki Hyacinthe while on a MONUC airplane in the DRC and bring him to Rwanda were thwarted by Congolese security services.
Following the failed kidnap attempt, the Rwandan government lobbied INTERPOL and got Rafiki Hyacinte on the wanted list. He was arrested in France last month, in August 2011.
The French court decision appears to be a second blow to the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame himself in one day, especially after a controversial high profile first official visit to France since he took power, seventeen years ago.
Today, the French courts also dismissed the case agains the widow of the late Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana.
©2011 AfroAmerica Network.