A 66-year-old former Rwandan military policeman appeared in court in Paris on the first day of his trial on Wednesday (10 May), charged with genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 slaughter in his home country.
Philippe Hategekimana fled to France after the genocide, obtaining refugee status and then French nationality under a false identity, under the name Philippe Manier. He is accused of involvement in murdering hundreds of Tutsis while working as a senior police official in the southern provincial capital of Nyanza. Hategekimana is suspected in particular of playing a role in the murder of the mayor of the town of Ntyazo who opposed the killings, and of a nun. He is also accused of being involved in the killing of about 1,300 Tutsis on two hills called Nyamugari and Nyabubare.
It is the fifth such trial in France of an alleged participant in the massacres, in which around 800,000 people, most of them ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered over 100 days. Hategekimana has denied the charges, for which he faces life in jail. He fled France for Cameroon in late 2017 after the press reported that the Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR), one of the plaintiffs in the trial this week, had filed a complaint against him. He was arrested in the capital Yaounde in 2018 and extradited to France. Being one of the top destinations for fugitives from the massacres, France has tried and convicted a former spy chief, two ex-mayors, a former hotel chauffeur and an ex-top official in similar trials since 2014.
Source: North Africa Post