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Agathe Kanziga, Widow of Former Rwandan President Habyarimana heard in the Barril investigation

Agathe Habyarimana, widow of the former Rwandan president and suspected of being involved in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, arrived at the Paris court on Tuesday morning to be questioned in the investigation into the role played by the former French gendarme Paul Barril at the time of the massacres.

Agathe Kanziga, widow of Habyarimana, 78 years old, was summoned by an investigating judge in charge of this investigation for “complicity in genocide”, in order to be placed under the status of assisted witness, intermediary between the simple witness and the indictment, according to a source close to the case.

Ms. Habyarimana, whom France refused to extradite to Rwanda without, however, granting her asylum because of the suspicions weighing on her, should be questioned about her links with Captain Paul Barril, ex-gendarme of the Elysee under the presidency Mitterrand. 

This judicial information against the former soldier originates from complaints filed in 2013 by the Survie association, the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) and its French branch.

The NGOs accuse him in particular of having signed in May 1994, at the height of the genocide, a $ 3 million armaments contract with the Rwandan interim government (GIR) when an international embargo had been imposed by the UN.

Paul Barril was at the time in contact with the Habyarimana family, in particular the sons of the former president.

In the spring, the 74-year-old former soldier, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, was placed under the status of assisted witness, after two days of questioning.

In 2016, several former mercenaries from his company Secrets, who had accompanied him to Central Africa on May 6, 1994 aboard a Falcon 50, were questioned in police custody, without being prosecuted at this stage. .

Ms. Habyarimana is often presented as one of the leaders of the “akazu”, the inner circle of Hutu power which, according to her accusers, planned and orchestrated the genocide, which she disputes.

Exfiltrated from the country on April 9, 1994, she herself has been targeted since 2008 by an investigation into her own role in the genocide, initiated by a complaint from the Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR).

In this procedure, she was questioned for the first time by the gendarmes in 2010 as a simple witness. She was then heard a second time in 2016 by the investigating judge who had placed her under the status of assisted witness.


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