French Court Drops Fr. Wenceslas Munyeshyaka’s Genocide Case

 Father Wenscelas Munyeshyaka(L) surrounded by Rwandan soldiers, the ex-far 
Father Wenscelas Munyeshyaka(L) surrounded by Rwandan soldiers, the Ex-FAR

The umbrella of Genocide survivors association in Rwanda has expressed disappointment about a French court’s decision to drop the case of Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a Genocide suspect on Thursday.

Father Munyeshyaka was a vicar at Saint Famille Catholic Church in Kigali during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

During the Genocide, thousands Tutsis went to seek protection at St. Famille church.

In collaboration with Prefect of Kigali Tharcisse Renzaho, Munyeshyaka is accused of killing innocent Tutsi and raping women who sought refuge at the nearby St Paul Center and at the church itself.

In a widely known photo, Munyeshyaka is seen in military attire during the Genocide period.

After the Genocide, he fled to France where he is allegedly still serving as a priest at Gisors Parish in Evreux Diocese.

In 2015, a French court had ruled that Munyeshyaka would not stand trial for all charges leveled against him. The courts cited “poor quality of evidence.”

However, several civil society organizations operating in France including CPCR (Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda) appealed against that decision in a Paris court.

Ever since, the hearing of this appeal has been postponed on several occasions.

“The investigation started 20 years ago and the final ruling was made by the French Justice today-Thursday,” writes Radio France Internationale(rfi).

FR Munyeshyaka(Right) is still ministering in France

“Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka will never be charged on his alleged role in the 1994 Genocide,” rfi further writes.

Ibuka is disappointed by the decision.

“It is sad, very unfortunate bias by the French court. We know they have heard all witnesses; everyone who needed evidence, be it the media and the court itself were given the opportunity to get them on the ground,” said Naphtal Ahishakiye, the executive secretary of Ibuka.

“We would ask other institutions that provide justice beyond France as a country to challenge this decision so that one day this man is brought to book.”

When contacted Johnston Busingye Rwanda’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General told KT Press it was too early to comment about the case basing on the little information in the media.




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