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Cablegate: Rwanda: French Judge Ends Questioning of Rose

VZCZCXRO9191
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHFR #1349/01 2741443
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 011443Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7269
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 2708
RHMFISS/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1747
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 001349

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/C, INL, L

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/01/2019
TAGS: PREL PHUM PINR KCRM KJUS RW FR
SUBJECT: RWANDA: FRENCH JUDGE ENDS QUESTIONING OF ROSE
KABUYE

Classified By: Andrew Young, Political Counselor, 1.4 (b/d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: The French judge investigating events
concerning the 1994 Rwandan genocide has dismissed the first
Rwandan official questioned in the case. Rose Kabuye was
granted freedom of movement when the judge on September 25
lifted the international arrest warrant that was used to
compel her testimony. She has reportedly agreed to cooperate
with the investigation and may be subject to recall by the
judge. In an effort to determine if there is a case to
pursue, the judge in principle should interview the other
eight Rwandans subject to the original arrest warrant,
although this may take place in Rwanda. One MFA contact
views this development as a positive step towards resolving
the case and for improving broken French-Rwandan relations,
although resolving the cases involving the other eight is
likely to take time. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Charlotte Montel (AF-advisor in FM Kouchner's
cabinet) on September 30 provided an update in the Rose
Kabuye case, calling recent developments an important step in
the complex legal matter involving nine senior Rwandans,
which arose when then-terrorism judge Bruguiere in November
2006 issued his report on the events of 1994 that led to the
Rwandan genocide. Bruguiere's report contained warrants
against the nine and also recommended prosecution of Rwanda's
President Kagame for their alleged involvement in the
airplane shoot-down deaths of the Rwandan and Burundian
presidents that sparked the genocide. The legal case in
France was initiated in response to a complaint by the family
of the plane's French pilot. Bruguiere's report caused
Rwanda to sever relations with France, which remain severed.
Kabuye was arrested in Germany earlier this year pursuant to
the French warrant and has been questioned several times by
the investigating judge ("juge d'instruction"), who
nonetheless granted her liberal travel privileges provided
she comply with court orders, which she has done.

3. (C) Montel said that on September 25, the investigating
judge informed Kabuye that he was finished questioning her
and that she was free to go, subject to the court's recall
for further testimony. Montel said that Kabuye agreed to
cooperate with the judge's investigation. Montel explained
that the warrants Bruguiere had issued were in effect arrest
warrants that would allow the investigating judge to question
the nine Rwandans pursuant to the judge's inquiry into the
1994 events. The warrants were not indictments but more in
the nature of subpoenas for detailed depositions. One reason
Rwanda reacted so strongly to the warrants was the fact that
the French investigating judge, if he had wanted, could have
gone to Rwanda and asked to interview the nine, rather than
making them the objects of international arrest warrants.

4 (C) Montel said that the September 25 ruling was an
important step because in releasing Kabuye (subject to her
cooperation and possible further testimony), the judge was
implicitly not moving towards indicting her. Also, in
response to the judge's ruling, Kabuye's lawyers offered
motions that further investigations be carried out in Rwanda,
which Montel thought likely. Montel cautioned, however, that
while this development in Kabuye's case was positive and
could ease France-Rwanda tensions, there were still eight
others whose cases needed resolution. Montel said that
Kabuye all along firmly denied that she had deliberately
allowed herself to be arrested, as a test case," as had been
reported by French daily Le Monde and other observers.
Montel conceded that several GOF officials had quietly
suggested to the Rwandans that one of the nine agree to be
arrested, which would allow the Rwandans to see what kind of
case the French had against the nine. She repeated, however,
that Kabuye consistently maintained that she never intended
to be arrested in Germany to test France's case against her
and her compatriots.

5. (C) COMMENT: Montel was notably upbeat in providing her
analysis of developments in the Kabuye case. We expect,
however, that the rest of the case, involving the other
eight, could require considerable time to resolve and that,
consequently, there will likely be no change in the status of
relations, unless Rwanda were to alter its position, which
does not appear likely. Montel did mention that the current
investigative judge could, on his own motion, annul
Bruguiere's warrants and carry out the investigation in

PARIS 00001349 002 OF 002


another manner, which might perhaps be the best course in
terms of improving relations. However, given the vaunted
independence of the French judiciary, we are not confident
that the judge will choose that course of action. END
COMMENT.
RIVKIN

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