Rwanda: Ex-Rwandan military cop found guilty of genocide by Paris court
By Ahmed Hadizat
A Parisian court has sentenced a former Rwandan military policeman to life in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide and crimes against humanity in his home country.
Philippe Hategekimana, 66, was found guilty of nearly all of the charges against him by the court.
He escaped to France after the destruction, acquiring outcast status and afterward French ethnicity under the name Philippe Manier.
In April 1994, Rwandan Tutsi refugees crossed the border into Burundi.
Previous Rwanda cop being investigated in Paris blamed for partaking in slaughter
The preliminary of Hategekimana, which started last month, was the fifth such preliminary in France of a supposed member in the slaughters.
UN figures indicate that between April and July 1994, more than 800,000 people were killed, the majority of whom belonged to the Tutsi minority.
Hategekimana was accused of setting up roadblocks to prevent Tutsis from being killed in and around Nyanza, the southern provincial capital, where he worked as a senior police official, as well as being involved in the murder of dozens of Tutsis.
A wanted poster with the name Félicien Kabuga crossed out in Kigali.
Finding them is not difficult at all: the chase after the Rwandan destruction escapees
Offended parties blamed Hategekimana for “utilizing the powers and military power gave to him through his position to … partake in the annihilation”.
He was likewise blamed for being engaged with the homicides of a religious woman and the city hall leader of the town of Ntyazo, who went against the killings; of being involved in the murder of 300 Tutsi refugees on the Nyamugari hill: what’s more, in an assault where around 1,000 regular folks kicked the bucket.
He fled France for Cameroon at the end of 2017 after news broke that one of the plaintiffs in this week’s trial, the Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda, had filed a complaint against him. He was captured in the capital, Yaoundé, in 2018 and removed to France. He refuted the allegations.
Since 2014, a former spy chief, two former mayors, a former hotel chauffeur, and an ex-top official have been tried and found guilty in similar trials in France, one of the most popular destinations for victims of the massacre who are still on the run. However, requests to extradite suspects to Rwanda have generally been turned down, leading Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, to accuse Paris of denying Rwanda jurisdiction.