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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 11:23 GMT
Rwanda denies French allegations
Paul Kagame
Mr Kagame has presidential immunity
Rwanda has rejected a French police report which blames President Paul Kagame for a rocket attack that triggered the genocide 10 years ago.

The government described the report - extracts of which appeared in the French daily Le Monde - as a "fantasy".

It criticises the French for not going to Rwanda to conduct their inquiry.

The report concludes that Mr Kagame gave direct orders for the rocket attack on then President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane.

Mr Kagame was head of the mainly-Tustsi rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) at the time.

The death of Mr Habyarimana, a Hutu, triggered the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which some 800,000 people died, most of them Tutsis.

My colleagues used Russian missiles in the attack...the first one hit the wing but did not bring the plane down but the second missle hit the target
Abdul Ruzibiza
Former RPF member
Burundi's then President Cyprien Ntaryamira was also killed in the rocket attack.

Le Monde says the accusation against Mr Kagame is contained in a 220-page report drawn up by police acting for France's leading anti-terrorist judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere.

The police are investigating the deaths of several French citizens on the plane.

Eye witness

The newspaper says the report was based on interviews with hundreds of witnesses, including one man who allegedly belonged to the assassination squad.

Abdul Ruzibiza told the BBC that he did not shoot down the plane but said he was responsible for conducting a survey of the location to be used.

"I knew the area from where the attack would be executed and the exact time," he said.

"My colleagues used Russian missiles in the attack.

"The first one hit the wing but did not bring the plane down but the second missle hit the target."

He said he was able to reveal the information now as he was no longer an RPF member.

Mr Habyarimana's death in the crash led to the genocide of Tutsis, which only ended when Mr Kagame took power in Rwanda.

Tense relations

Mr Bruguiere has not yet handed the report over to the French prosecutor's office.

An expert on the Great Lakes Philip Reyntjens told the BBC that once the report is submitted the judicial consequences are simple.

He must then decide if he is going to prosecute.

If he decides to go ahead he must then issue arrest warrants against those named in the report - including leading members of Paul Kagame's government.

Mr Kagame will not be prosecuted as he has presidential immunity.

Correspondents say relations between France and Rwanda have been tense for many years because of accusations that France - which was President Habyarimana's main backer - connived in the genocide.

France denies the allegation.

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