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Gen Kabarebe won’t appear in French court tomorrow, lawyers disqualify witness

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Lef Forster Bernard Maingain, both french lawyers of Min Gen Kabarebe of Rwanda, decline he will not attend tomorrow the confrontation with James Munyandinda, qualified as untrustworthy, dishonest and unreliable. “Our clients will not be attending the confrontation proceeding scheduled for 14-15 December 2017”. From JA

They say, “It obviates the need for a serving Minister of Defense (full General) to travel to France solely for the purpose of confronting an untrustworthy witness”,

Adding that , “No lawyer in Europe would advise the French Minister to Defense to appear before a Rwandan court and accept confrontation with an unreliable witness, particularly after that minister had already testified in the same proceeding”.

 

Dear Judge Poux and Judge Herbaut:

Through this submission, we respond to your 29 September 2017 order responding to a request from the civil party seeking confrontation proceedings on 14-15 December 2017 with regard to the testimony of James Munyandinda.

We and our clients have reviewed the testimony and have treated the matter with the utmost seriousness.

To that end, we have examined the matter both inside and outside the record. As this submission will further demonstrate, our examination reveals that Mr. Munyandinda’s background, circumstances and statements expose him to be an untrustworthy witness, rendering his entire presentation unreliable and insufficient to warrant an appearance before you by our clients.

As this submission details, Mr. Munyandinda’s unreliability as a witness is so pronounced that it obviates the need for a serving Minister of Defense to travel to France solely for the purpose of confronting an untrustworthy witness. Our clients therefore will not be attending the confrontation proceeding scheduled for 14-15 December 2017.

Mr. Munyandinda Is a Dishonest and Unreliable Witness

Permit us the following additional observations about the witness’s lack of credibility, which culminate in a profile of an individual who is unreliable.

He provided false testimony to you about the circumstances of his departure from Rwanda in 2008.

Contrary to his testimony, Mr. Munyandinda did not abruptly leave Rwanda in October 2008 for Uganda at the direction of the Government of Rwanda to carry out an assassination.

The truth: From the beginning of 2008, he organized his departure from Rwanda for the stated purpose of moving to the UK to study at the University of Coventry, in the UK.

He sought leave from his Rwandan military superiors to move and study in the UK. He likewise told his wife that he was moving to the UK to study. Both the Government of Rwanda and his wife relied on those representations.

Documents and a sworn account from his wife (Exhibit 1) confirm these facts. Below are material facts he has concealed from you regarding the circumstances of his departure:

  • As early as the spring of 2008, Mr. Munyandinda spoke with his wife about plans to study in the UK.
  • Mr. Munyandinda and his wife owned two parcels of land, one in Kabarore and the other in Kanombe. In April 2008, Mr. Munyandinda sold the plot of Kigali (Kanombe) for a significant sum locally of 6,000,000 Rwandan francs (at the time, more than US$10,000) (Exhibit 2). This fact is important because it shows that he moved – not for a short period of time per his testimony – but rather for a longer period of time – i.e., his move to the UK for study – according to what he told his wife at the time.
  • In July 2008, he corresponded with the University of Coventry and received confirmation of his enrollment, as shown in Exhibit 3.
  • He then sought permission, through his chain of command in Rwanda, to study, which was approved (Exhibit 4).
  • He also asked the Government of Rwanda to help fund his studies (Exhibit 5).
  • Mr. Munyandinda then received the documentation required to apply for a service passport, which he paid for and which received on 24 September 2008. His application for a service passport is attached to this submission as Exhibit 6.
  • His stamped passport shows that on 2 October 2008, he left Rwanda for Uganda, although the Government of Rwanda and his wife believed that he went to the UK because of their reliance on his misrepresentations. Those stamped pages from Mr. Munyandinda’s passport are already part of the record and are attached to this submission at Exhibit 7 (your file), though we have not had access to a copy of the passport in its entirety.
  • Bank records show that his bank account was nearly emptied on 20 May 2010 (Exhibit 8). On 18 May 2010, the applicant signed a power of attorney for the benefit of his wife to enable her to withdraw money from the bank account (Exhibit 9).
  • This power of attorney, signed by him, listed his personal address as the address the University of Coventry, creating the impression that he was studying in the UK. In two appearances before you, Mr. Munyandinda made no mention of studying in the UK; instead, he told you he was in Uganda from the time he left Rwanda in late 2008 until he arrived in France.

Mr. Munyandinda therefore lied to his wife and the Rwandan government about where he would be going, when departing Rwanda in October 2008. The foregoing flatly belies what he explained to you.

Additionally, Mr. Munyandinda told you that he only received a passport on 1 October 2008, and that Emmanuel Ndahiro gave it to him on that date. The sworn testimony of Emmanuel Ndahiro refutes this (Exhibit 10). Indeed, the government records attached to this submission at Exhibit 6 show that he applied for and received a service passport on 24 September 2008.

We must also bring to your attention that Mr. Munyandinda’s claim that he was a member of a special ten-man section of the RPA is not true. Also, the ten people he named in his testimony did not serve together in any unit or section of the RPA, at any time.

Thisinvestigation should not have reached the point of a confrontation proceeding on the basis of unsupported statements of a witness who appeared for the first time 23 years after the fact, apparently without adequate probing.

We specifically regret that you did not appear to ask Mr. Munyandinda, among other things, about the circumstances of his 2008 departure from Rwanda, or his entry into France without any documented support.

Conclusion:

For the foregoing reasons, and others which we reserve the right to raise later, this confrontation is patently unwarranted because of his unreliability, and, thus, our clients will not be appearing on 14-15 December 2017.

Our clients have already testified in this matter. We have taken the testimony of this new witness seriously and have analyzed it. Based on what we have learned, no counsel would reasonably advise his clients to appear, under these circumstances.

No lawyer in Europe would advise the French Minister to Defense to appear before a Rwandan court and accept confrontation with an unreliable witness, particularly after that minister had already testified in the same proceeding.

The matter before you began almost 20 years ago, and our clients should not be required to appear once more for no other purpose than to respond to testimony from an unreliable witness who comes forward for the first time after 23 years.

Additionally, through this submission, we reconfirm, and formally renew, our previous request to you to close this file.

Lef Forster Bernard Maingain

Read full letter here: KABAREBE PARIS

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Jean Baptiste Karegeya

 

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