Affaire No. 13/0033 du 14 mars 2014 : Pascal Senyamuhara Safari (alias Pascal Simbikangwa)
||France, Cour d'assises de Paris, 2ème section statuant en premier ressort
||http://proces-genocide-rwanda.fr/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/scan005.pdf (last accessed on 11.06.2015)
On 14 March 2014, the Criminal Court of Paris convicted Pascal Simbikangwa of genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda between April and July 1994. The Court sentenced him to twenty-five years imprisonment. Both parties appealed this decision.
Pascal Simbikangwa was the head of Central Intelligence in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. After the conflict, he lived in Comoros before moving to Mayotte under a false identity. In 2008 he was arrested in Mayotte for producing and selling fake documents and his real identity was discovered. In 2009, the collectif des parties civiles pour le Rwanda filed a complaint against him for genocide and crimes against humanity. He was transferred to Paris in 2009, after France rejected a request for his extradition submitted by the Rwandan Government.
This case was referred to the Paris Criminal Court by the special unit created by the tribunal in 2012 to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity, as well as misdemeanors and crimes of war.
The Law of 22 May 1996 on adapting French law to United Nations Security Resolution 955 gives jurisdiction to the French courts to adjudicate facts falling within the competence of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) if the author of these facts is on French territory and it the ICTR decides not exercise its jurisdiction.
In the present instance, the Criminal Court of Paris referred to the decision of the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR on Prosecutor's Appeal on Judicial Notice, dated 16 June 2006, in the case of Prosecutor v. Karemera, Ngirumpatse and Nzirorera, to conclude that there was no reasonable doubt about the existence of a genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda.
This was the first time that a Rwandan genocide suspect was tried before a French court. It was also the first time that, in France, a trial based on universal jurisdiction was held in the presence of the accused.