Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Scotland: celebrities take sides in independence debate

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple denies security breach in celebrity photo leak

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

  • France’s former first lady lifts lid on 'cold' President Hollande

    Read more

  • Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad

    Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • French mum reunited with daughter 'kidnapped by jihadist father'

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces advance on IS as protesters storm parliament

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

France

Rwandan rebel leader in France after ICC release

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-23

Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana arrived in Paris on Friday after his release by the International Criminal Court (ICC), where judges have dropped war crimes charges against him on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

AFP - Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana was met by police and taken before a judge when he arrived in Paris on Friday after being released by the International Criminal Court, his lawyer said.

"Mr Mbarushimana was 'cordially' invited to accompany police when he get off the plane. He was taken to an investigating magistrate who is to notify him of his parole conditions," said lawyer Arthur Vercken.

Vercken waited in vain at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport for his client to arrive from the Netherlands where he has been in ICC custody for almost a year, facing crimes against humanity and warcrimes charges.

Despite those charges being dropped, he is under investigation in France for his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide of about 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, hence the interview with the judge.

Mbarushimana, 48, had faced 13 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in The Hague, before ICC judges on December 16 dropped charges against him on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

The crimes including murder, rape and persecution, were allegedly committed by his rebel Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009.

The first defendant to be freed by the ICC, Mbarushimana chose to return to France, where he had been living since 2002 and working as a computer specialist, until his arrest on October 11, 2010 following an ICC arrest warrant.

He has political refugee status in France.

His arrest arose from a probe into alleged Congolese war crimes referred to the ICC by the Kinshasa government in June 2004.

"This is ridiculous," lawyer Vercken said.

"He was informed of his bail conditions and he was going to go to the judge next week. There's no point coming to get him here," Vercken said. "He wasn't going to make any sensational declarations."

Mbarushimana is also the subject of a probe by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that has not yet resulted in an arrest warrant.

"Callixte Mbarushimana was released in accordance with a decision issued by the pre-Trial chamber," the ICC in The Hague said in a statement earlier.

"Thanks to the full cooperation of the Netherlands, the host state of the ICC, and of France, Mr Mbarushimana was released on French territory, as he requested," the court added.

ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's appeal against his release was rejected Monday after the judges' ruling two days before.

Prosecutors had accused him of being the "respectable face" of the FDLR rebels, organising a campaign of attacks against Congolese civilians living in the eastern DRC's Kivu provinces from Paris using "international and local media channels".

The attacks perpetrated by the FDLR resulted in 384 civilian deaths between February and October 2009, as well as 135 cases of sexual violence, 521 abductions, 38 cases of torture and five of mutilation, prosecutors said.

Mbarushimana himself has always insisted he was innocent and denounced the "barbarity" of military forces that ravaged Africa's Great Lakes region.

 

Date created : 2011-12-23

  • FRANCE

    France rejects extradition of Rwanda's ex-first lady

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Rwandan president in France on reconciliation visit

    Read more

COMMENT(S)