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Landmark Rwanda genocide trial opens in France

Published on Feb 4, 2014 5:15 PM
 

PARIS (AFP) - The landmark trial of a former Rwandan army captain charged with complicity in the 1994 genocide that left 800,000 dead opened on Tuesday in Paris, the first of its kind in France.

Pascal Simbikangwa, who denies the accusations against him, appeared in court in a wheelchair after a 1986 car accident that left him paraplegic. He faces life in prison.

The 54-year-old was arrested in 2008 on the French Indian Ocean island of Mayotte, where he had been living in hiding for three years.

“I was a captain in the Rwandan army then in the intelligence services,” Simbikangwa, a small, bald man wearing a brown jacket and white tracksuit bottoms, told the court in an opening statement.

 
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