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France accused of ‘hiding’ flight recorder of crashed plane

The Rwandan Committee of Independent Experts, investigat ing the attack on the plane of former President Habyarimana, has accused France o f “hiding” the flight recorder of the Presidential plane which was shot down, PA N A reported from here.

The incident was considered to have triggered the genocide involving the Tutsis in 1994.

“We must never cause confusion, because Habyarimana was killed by his own people ,” said Jean Mutsinzi, the Chairman of the Committee of experts.

“Ballistic experts ‘indeed’ showed that the missile that shot down the right win g of the Presidential falcon was taken from the military camp in Kanombe, near K i gali airport,” Mutsinzi noted, arguing that the then influential members of the ” Hutu Power” in Rwanda are responsible for the death of Habyarimana.

Speaking here on Monday during the official presentation of the report, Rwandan Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama, declared that the findings of the inqu i ry showed that the assassination of Habyarimana was an act “premeditated and exe c uted” by aides of the former Rwandan President.

“This report is a compilation of testimonies that shed light on this attack agai snt the presidential plane… which show that the attack had nothing to do with t he outbreak of the genocide,” said Karugarama, arguing that the testimonies were

given by various “eyewitnesses” to the attack.

According to him, the testimonies collected as part of the inquiry proved that e x-Rwandan Armed Forces and the French troops had immediately surrounded the cras h site, to “prevent” any other element from going to the place.

“All testimonies contained in this report are based on scientific research condu cted with people and other experts,” declared the head of the Rwandan Comimittee

of Independent Experts, stressing that only the French army and Habyarimana’s pr e sidential guard could “reveal” the location of the flight recorder of the Falcon – 50 plane.

The 198-page report also argued that “the attack had nothing to do with the geno cide.

“We will challenge anyone who attempts to object to testimonies contained in thi s report,” said Rwandan Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation Minister Mrs. L o uise Mushikiwabo.

Witnesses interviewed during the investigations included ex-members of Habyarima na’s presidential guard, officers of the ex-FAR, workers of Kigali International

Airport and foreign experts who lived in Rwanda at the time of the attack, the s o urce said.

Prior to the publication of the Rwandan report, French anti-terrorist judge, Jea n-Louis Bruguière, in November 2006 issued international warrants of arrest aga i nst nine Rwandan personalities, as part of another investigation into the attack

against on the aircraft of the former Rwandan President.


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