File - Simbikangwa’s trial is being closely watched in France, which was accused of turning a blind eye to the genocide in 1994.
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With a hoist from two bailiffs, Rwanda's disabled former intelligence chief was placed in a courtroom wheelchair Tuesday – and France opened its first trial over the African country's genocide.The Simbikangwa case redeems years of efforts in France by activist groups and other critics who say French officials turned a blind eye to the slaughter, helped some perpetrators to flee Rwanda and let untold numbers of Rwandans with ties to the genocide live unpunished in France for years.More than two dozen cases linked to the Rwandan genocide are still being investigated in France.Several human rights groups as well as the Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda, which has worked for 13 years to bring such a case to French courts, are among several civil parties: independent plaintiffs who are supporting the state's case.France was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights in 2004 for acting too slowly to prosecute one case related to the Rwanda genocide case.Rwanda broke off political relations with France after a French magistrate filed charges against allies of President Paul Kagame, whose Tutsi-led forces took power after the genocide ended in July 1994 .
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