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French Court Releases Genocide Convict Muhayimana

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The former Kibuye Guest house driver, and genocide convict, Claude Muhayimana, has been released temporarily under judicial supervision as the French court analyses his pending appeal.

Muhayimana was sentenced to 14-years in jail by France’s Cour d’Assises in 2021 after finding guilty of complicity in crimes of genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity in areas of Bisesero between April and June in 1994.

His appeal was referred to the investigative division of the Paris Court of Appeal, which ruled in November that the “extension of his pre-trial detention did not appear to be essential either for the needs of the proceeding pending the hearing, or as a security measure.”

He has been under judicial supervision pending his appeal since December 21.

The 61-year-old became a French citizen in 2010, a year before an arrest warrant was issued against him for his role in genocide against the Tutsi.

Muhayimana was tried under universal jurisdiction, which allows certain countries to try international crimes committed outside their territory, including non-nationals.

In his defenses, Muhayimana was repeatedly heard telling the court about his lesser role in the genocide arguing that he was just “a simple driver who was a mere subordinate” but the French prosecutors basing on national laws said the perpetrators and accomplices are considered on equal footing.

The convict is one of the few genocide perpetrators to be tried and sentenced in France after Pascal Simbikangwa in 2014, Tito Barahira and Octavien Ngenzi.

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