• Germany's news in English

Rwanda protests arrest of Kagame aide

The Local · 10 Nov 2008, 11:45

Published: 10 Nov 2008 11:45 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Kagame's chief of protocol Rose Kabuye was arrested Sunday on arrival at Frankfurt airport on a 2006 international warrant issued by French anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere.

"Our foreign affairs minister yesterday summoned the German ambassador to protest. Kabuye was on an official mission and enjoys diplomatic immunity," Information Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said.

"She is an innocent woman who was arrested on a politically motivated warrant, a warrant issued on the basis of manipulated investigations," Mushikiwabo told AFP. "This blackmail cannot continue anymore."

Kabuye is the first Rwandan to be arrested out of nine warrants issued by Bruguiere against close Kagame aides whom the judge suspects of being behind the death of former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana.

His assassination in April 1994 when his airplane was shot down triggered ethnic tensions between Hutus and Tutsis that led to the genocide. The arrest warrants sparked a bilateral diplomatic row resulting in Rwanda suspending ties with France.

Kabuye's lawyer said she was willing to be transferred to France "as quickly as possible" to speak to French judges. But Mushikiwabo told AFP: "We hope that with this arrest, the whole world will finally know that these arrest warrants have no legal basis. We want the warrants made public. It is time to tell the truth."

Kabuye had already visited Germany in April as part of an official delegation headed by Kagame. At the time, Berlin acknowledged the government was aware of the French warrant, but said German law prevented it from taking action against representatives of foreign states or delegations it had invited.

This time, Kabuye - a former lawmaker and mayor of Kigali - "was at the Frankfurt airport on a private basis," a diplomat told AFP on Sunday.

Currently in custody in a women's prison in Frankfurt, Kabuye could be extadited to France within 10 and 14 days, German prosecutors told AFP on Monday.

Story continues below…

"As a general rule when a person is willing to be extradited, the extradition can take place within 10 and 14 days," said Hildegard Becker-Toussaint, chief prosecutor at Frankfurt's court of appeal.

Rwandan foreign ministry expressed its "shock and dismay" over Kabuye's arrest in a letter of protest to the German embassy in Kigali seen by AFP. It said that Kabuye enjoys diplomatic immunity, was on a "working visit" to Germany and "should be treated with courtesy and dignity by the German authorities as it is required by diplomatic decorum."

The Rwandan government on Monday called for street demonstrations to protest against the arrest. Cars driving across the capital Kigali blared a government statement through loudspeakers announcing that offices were closing at 2:00 pm and urging civil servants and all members of the public to join the demonstrations.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd