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German defends Kabuye arrest

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Kigali: The German was obliged to arrest Rwandan official Rose Kabuye on the basis of the warrant issued against her, German Foreign Ministry said Monday, as Rwanda hit back in bitterness – coupled with demonstrations in Kigali.

"The arrest warrant was binding and obligatory for the German government and the police. Against this backdrop we had no other choice than to make the arrest," Reuters quotes ministry spokesman Jens Ploettner to have said in Berlin.

He added that it was "only a question of a few weeks" before Kabuye would be sent to France.

Several Rwandan cabinet ministers have taken turns all day to express dismay with the arrest calling it a "political game designed to blur the truth and weaken the government".

At the forefront of the campaign have Information Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali and Justice colleague Tharcisse Karugarama.

Kabuye's lawyer told Reuters in Paris that his client was willing to go before a French judge, a position which could speed up the extradition process.

"She believes there are no charges," said the lawyer, Lef Forster. "We will know today or tomorrow when she will arrive in France and whether the arrest warrant is turned into a committal order."    

Information Minister Mushikiwabo said retired Col Kabuye was travelling on official government business when she was arrested Sunday. The Foreign Ministry here summoned the German ambassador to Rwanda.

German Federal Police did not say if Kabuye was on personal business or where she was flying from or what her destination was when she was arrested.

In a prepared statement, Ms. Mushikiwabo, said the German authorities had forewarned Kabuye that she was likely to be detained, but she chose to travel to Europe anyway because a trial would expose France's politically motivated attempts to whitewash its own complicity in the mass slaughter.

"These indictments are an abuse of international law. It is political and judicial bullying that Rwanda will not accept," she told the British daily The Guardian.

"Rose agreed to be transferred to France because she wants to prove her innocence. Both for her and for the government, this is really the moment of truth with France. We would like her arrest to be an opportunity to show how shallow and unfounded these indictments are.

"France is using these indictments to cover up its own responsibility. France aided and abetted the genocide planners. It has continued to shelter genocidaires. We're hoping that not all French judges are Bruguières".

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