Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Prisoners of the UNDF, Arusha, Respond to (yet another) Denial of the Truth about 6 April 1994, Rwanda.

[With the BBC's recent broadcast of the documentary 'Rwanda: 1994', there has been a certain up-tick in the attention being paid to Central Africa--as well as to how civil aviation has been used as an weapon of Western géopolitics.
{Let's NOT FORGET MH-17, shot down over Eastern Ukraine by forces of the Kiev junta and now unspoken of in The West.}

On 6 April 1994, the executive jet returning two African (majoritarian Hutu) heads of State from an ad hoc conference on Ethnic Violence in East and Central Africa was shot down by a SAM-16.  This sham conference was a spur of the moment affair arranged in Dar es Salaam by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, through the offices of his Tanzanian counterpart, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, as a ruse for ridding the region of popular, independent leaders, whose independence made them unpopular with the West.  The ploy was to stall until dark and lure them into an ambush above the Rwandan capital city of Kigali, which by then had become a tightly wound booby-trapped for loosing the terrorist RPF-invader/occupiers' Final Military Solution to the problem of seizing State power, on behalf of their US/UK/Israeli sponsors, without having to stand for Arusha-mandated elections, and effectively liquidating or driving out that last two million or so superfluous and thoroughly dispossessed and displaced Rwandans left alive in-country.

And they still have the chutzpah to snivel that the New Rwanda is so sad because it lost 3/4 of its population in the Genocide.

Those STFG hustlers, like Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Philly Gourevitch and Linda Melvern, who like to bemoan and bemoan, 'How could WE have let IT happen?  Again?', usually get pretty busy when the consensus narrative is questioned.  To the disciples of the '800k Tutsi and Moderate Hutu hacked to death in 100 Days by Extremist Hutu and Interahamwe militia' orthodoxy, any questions concerning a reasoned reading of events, like what about accurate timing and placing of stuff in the 6 April attack or the historical etimologies of certain terms, like 'Extremist Hutu', 'Interahamwe' and 'Genocide', itself, unreflexively become 'Genocide denial', son of 'Holocaust denial', born of 'Negationism' and 'Anti-Semitism'.

That has worked well as thought-suppression since, say, the fall of the Wall.  But with the overwhelming abundance of information being generated by their own self-loathing and guilt-driven institutions, like the UN ad hoc tribunals or various strains genocide-based scholarship and journalism, the forces of Private Waste Capital are having constantly to answer new questions with old, flaccid, obsolete answers, until, finally, they are made to fall back on that most pathetic Existentialist cop-out--as Kagame has said again and again when asked how he feels about all the horror he's wrought in his country and the region:  "I just don't care."

Well, we still care, and here's how much.--mc]

A Critique of the College of Experts Technical Report to Judges Trévidic and Poux

{translated from the French by CM/P}

Poux & Trévidic - Bruguière's Kids

Arusha, 12 February 2012
The Detainees of the ICTR
UN Detention Center (UNDF)
P.O. Box 6016, Arusha, Tanzania

To the Honorable Marc Trévidic and Nathalie Poux
Investigating Magistrates in the case of the 6 April 1994 attack
Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Court of Paris

Subject: Critical analysis of the Technical Report on the attack of 6 April 1994

Your Honors:

We the detainees of the ICTR, signatories to this document, are pleased to present you with the attached, our critical analysis of the evaluation report produced by the College of Experts concerning the 6 April 1994 attack on the aircraft of President Habyarimana over Kigali.  This report was given to the concerned parties at the time of a hearing before the Supreme Court of Paris on 10 January 2012.

First of all, we would like you to know that we have taken a special interest in the question of the attack of 6 April 1994 and that we still hope that our many contributions to this case will finally bring the truth into the light of day.   For example, we have, in our letter of 18 February 2010 to the authorities of the UN and the ICTR, vigorously denied the falsehoods of the report produced by the Committee empanelled by the Rwandan government to investigate the 6 April 1994 attack.  It is in this same spirit that we submit to you the attached critique, in which are developed the following points:

(1)   The College of Experts allowed itself to be influenced by the government in Kigali in its choice of witnesses to be interviewed on the ground and in determining the probable positions of the missile firings;
(2)   The statements of witnesses interviewed on the ground are incoherent and contradicted by the far more credible testimony of witnesses that the College of Experts purposefully did not seek to meet;
(3)   Contrary to the hypothesis held by the College of Experts after having arbitrarily set aside certain elements of the case, our position is based on the very elements they ignored and shows that the missile strike took place very near the hill at Runyonza;
(4)   We think that the College of Experts was late in proposing the involvement of the acoustics expert because they needed a technical basis on which to justify the elimination of the credible witnesses who confirmed that the missiles were fired from Masaka.

We submit that this evaluation is badly biased to the point of inexactitude on several important issues as we have shown in the attached analysis.  This is why we believe the statements by credible witnesses must be taken, first and without distortion, into consideration and, if necessary, a counter-investigation must be carried out for the purpose of drawing definitive conclusions about the location of the missile firings that brought down the Falcon 50 carrying President Habyarimana on the evening of 6 April 1994.

Please accept, your Honors, our sincerest respect and highest considerations,

The signatories (see the attached list)


-- Families of the victims of the 6 April 1994 attack

-- Lawyers for all the concerned parties.

List of the signatories to the 12 February 2012 letter to the French investigative magistrates on the case of the attack against the airplane of President Habyarimana, the object of which is: “A Critical Analysis of the Evaluation Report on the attack of 6 April 1994.”

Critical Analysis, by the UN Detainees in Arusha, of the Technical Report ordered by the French Judges charged with investigating the case of the 6 April 1994 attack.

Two African, Hutu Heads of State . . .
. . . Arrive in Kigali from Dar es Salaam on 6 Apr 1994.

1.   Introduction

Since the publication of the Technical Report ordered by French judges charged with investigating the complaint of the families of those who perished in the attack against the plane of President Habyarimana on 6 April 1994, the RPF[1] regime and its supporters have been crying out for all to hear that it confirms the innocence of Kagame and his accomplices.  They have been cheering their own victory and inundating the national and international media—blackmailing them, really—with lies about what this report says but, in fact, does not say.  Finding themselves taken out of the debate, other opinions consider that this media campaign fits perfectly with the obsessive manipulations and compulsive propaganda used by the RPF to assure its impunity.  We hope that French Justice does not fall for this treacherous media campaign and will continue on the narrow course to establishing the truth.

We have followed with great interest the question of the 6 April 1994 attack that triggered the Rwandan drama and whose perpetrators sadly remain unpunished.  It is in this spirit that we have reacted each time there has been a different attempt to obscure the truth in this affair.  Thus, in our letter of 18 February 2010 to the authorities of the UN and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), we vigorously denounced the falsehoods contained in the report of the Committee set up by the Rwandan government to investigate the 6 April 1994 attack.[2]

On reading the French Technical Report, we noticed that, in order to come to the conclusion that Kanombe was the most probable place from which the missiles could have been fired on President Habyarimana’s airplane, that 6 April 1994, the College of Experts made abundant use of a report partial to the Rwandan government and almost exclusively based on the testimony taken by the Mutsinzi Committee.  This is why we have found it useful to attach our letter of 18 February 2010, as cited above.

The acoustics expert was not in Rwanda to visit the locations.  He carried out his experiments on the basis of simulations done in France, in environmental conditions completely different from those of Masaka and Kanombe, and in 2011 rather than April 1994.  We have some serious questions as to why the College of Experts would suggest, at such a late date, that this expert be involved.  The only plausible reason seems to be the disproportionate weight given his expertise in the conclusions presented in the report on 10 January 2012.[3]

We propose that this expertise is highly biased and, therefore, inaccurate on several important points that we will go into later.

2.   The College of Experts allowed itself to be influenced by the Kigali    government in its choice of witnesses to interview on the ground and in its choice of probable locations for the missile firings

After analyzing the evidence given them by the investigative Judges, the College of Experts chose 12 witnesses to interview and position on those points of observation and perception of the events so they would draw the conclusions that had been rather forced on them by order of the investigative Judges.[4]

Rwandan Justice Jean Mutsinzi

Notice that of the dozen witnesses called, nine had testified before the Mutsinzi Committee[5].  And, as if by chance, these are the only nine witnesses the College of Experts interviewed on the ground in Rwanda.  The three witnesses the College of Experts called but did not meet with were Gerlache, Matthieu (#11), Gashoke, Jacques (#9) and Mukazitoni, Josephine (#12).  Corporal Matthieu Gerlache (Belgian military) testified before a [Belgian] military hearing in April and May 1994, while Jacques Gashoke testified before the Belgian military hearing on 1 January 1995.  The College of Experts gave no indication for the reasoning that drove them not to meet with these two important witnesses.

It should be asked why, based on the criteria used, the College of Experts called only twelve witnesses and excluding others, notably Dr. Pasuch and Dr. Daubresse, who were eyewitnesses to the events.  Nothing can justify this exclusion because these two Belgian military doctors were the first to testify before the Belgian military hearing on 13 April 1994 and in May of that same year.  But the nine (9) people interviewed by the College of Experts testified for the first time in 2008, before the Mutsinzi Committee, fourteen years after the fact.  It should be emphasized that of these nine witnesses, eight are former members of the FAR (Forces Armées Rwandaises [Rwandan government army—mc]) who joined up with the RPF after the war.  Only Patrice Munyaneza was not military in 1994.

Moreover, it is right to wonder why the new investigations are not interested in members of the civilian population living in the area around Kanombe-Masaka who witnessed these events.  It is troubling to see the similarities between the workings of the Mutsinzi Committee, which systematically removed from the witness rolls the civilian residents of this zone[6], and that of the College of Experts, which did not meet with any of them.  So, for example, it is difficult to understand how the College did not try to meet the witness Bernadette Uwingabire, who, according to the Mutsinzi Report, had lived since 1986 very close to Camp Kanombe, in the section of Kamashashi, some 700 meters from the presidential residence.  But, this witness stated before the Mutsinzi Committee that she had witnessed what happened and that she had seen the firings above Nyarugunga.[7]  It is not surprising that her testimony, which does not support the narrative of the RPF regime, was rejected by the Mutsinzi Committee and that the same reason most probably explains it rejection by the College of Experts.

On reading the evidence summaries in the case presented to the College of Experts before their trip to Rwanda[8], it becomes clear that finding the three probable locations for the missile firings to be around Kanombe was not based on any of the evidence in the file.  Even with the Mutsinzi Committee, no witness indicated places “near the hospital at Camp Kanombe”, “the new cemetery”[9] or “below the new cemetery” as positions from which the missiles were fired on President Habyarimana’s plane.  Under such conditions, it is really deplorable that, on their arrival to Rwanda, the French experts were briefed by locals to hold on to their notions of the firing positions being in Kanombe, though these ideas had no basis in any specific testimony in the file.[10]  The College of Experts allowed themselves to be influenced by some people who had a specific interest in placing the missile firings at Camp Kanombe.

It must be noted that the College did not even go to the trouble of verifying if the conditions of these places in 1994 allowed for missiles to be fired out of them as they had been told.  But, in April 1994, positions 2 and 6, chosen arbitrarily, were in a wooded area where the firing of missiles would have been impossible.  The College of Experts purposely avoided noticing this, content to merely express its reservations saying:  We consider that a zone stretching eastward and southward for about 100 meters, subject to its having a clear space toward the runway that the plane was approaching, could be taken into account.”[11]  The College did not really go to the trouble of verifying this crucial information, but the Belgian file that was part of the evidence that they, themselves, acknowledged they had examined contained maps and photographs that clearly showed that this area was wooded over.[12]  The same crucial information appears on the satellite map of Camp Kanombe taken in April 1994 and submitted to the ICTR by the American government.  This map was entered into the case of the Prosecutor v Bagosora et al, as number P306.  These are current documents that no one can contest.

Satellite map of Kanombe

But the farm at Masaka was a very open area and relatively far from any houses.  This farm, which belonged to the Ministry of Agriculture, had been abandoned for some time.[13]

In these circumstances, the first undeniable fact is that the College did not work at all independently.  If it was not being influenced, it would not have chosen the witnesses least recommended by the dossier in hand, nor given priority to the firing positions located around Camp Kanombe, while none of them was even mentioned in the testimonies gathered and set forth in the dossier.

3.   Statements taken from witnesses at the scene are incoherent and contradicted by more credible witnesses that the College did not seek to interview at the scene

After hearing and placing at the scene the summoned witnesses[14], the College of Experts determined their locations by GPS and discovered the directions from which they saw what happened.  Then, they merged their testimonies by focusing on Camp Kanombe to the exclusion of area around Masaka.  So it is that, within the framework of this synthesis, the College expressly states:  “the directions from which witnesses #3 and #10 saw what happened corresponded approximately to the supposed positions of the firings coming from the military camp at Kanombe (positions to be examined below).  Witnesses #1 and #4, located approximately on an axis with the runway, while being a long way from where the missiles hit the plane, expressed similar directions.[15]  But the College of Experts did not allude particularly to any other witness or any other position for the firings.  This shows that at this stage already, all the other witness and all the other possible locations for the firings were ruled out.  This conclusion in relation to locations 1, 2, and 6, situated around Camp Kanombe, is much more contestable.  It comes only from the statements of four witnesses chosen from the dozen called and cited earlier by the College of Experts.  In reality:

Ø    Contrary to the Experts’ assertions, Witness #1 (Corporal Matthieu Gerlache) never said that the missiles were fired from Camp Kanombe.  In both his testimonies, Corporal Gerlache claimed he saw the place from which the missiles were launched.  In his testimony of 13 April 1994[16], he stated that he was not able to estimate the distance between himself and the point from which the missiles were fired.  In this statement, he specifies that the missiles were launched from the right of the plane in a general South-to-North direction.  In his testimony of 30 May 1994, he said that Camp Kanombe was 1.5 kilometers from his point of observation and specified that he could not see the Camp because he was situated below it.  He added that the direction of the spot from whence the missiles were fired was toward Camp Kanombe.  So there is no ambiguity in his testimony.  This witness clearly distinguishes the point from whence the missiles were launched and the direction of this point.  Camp Kanombe indicates the direction of his reference and not the point from which the missiles came.  So Gerlache never said that the firings came from Camp Kanombe.  Moreover, the College of Experts acknowledged that the Witness Gerlache could effectively see the glowing contrails of the firings from Masaka.[17] 

Ø    Witness #3 (Silas Siborurema) clearly stated before the Mutsinzi Committee that he was at the hospital in Kanombe at the time of the incidents, and that he heard three blasts and saw the plane disappear with the third explosion.  However, he is the sole witness to have heard and seen the three shots.  What is more, he said, “these shots did not go off in front of the airplane or behind it, but rather off the left side”; [. . .] “These shots climbed horizontally from the left side of the aircraft that was coming from the area of the Nyarugunga valley, as if they were aiming for the wings of the plane.”[18]  This is the only witness to allege that the plane was coming from the Nyarugunga valley.  For him, the plane was not on the flight-path indicated by the other witnesses, including those working in the control tower at Kanombe.  Compared to the Pasuch house, Siborurema’s position was much farther northwest toward the airport, within the hospital complex.  The witnesses who were in the Pasuch house were far better placed to see and hear the shots.

Ø    On 14 August 2000, Witness #4 (Pascal Ngirumpatse) made a statement to the investigators of the ICTR in which he indicated:  On 6 April 1994, toward 8 pm, coming out of a café in Kanombe, I heard the noise of an airplane.  Some of my companions said it was the President’s plane and others said it wasn’t.  While carrying on this discussion, we saw a sort of shooting star heading toward the plane, but it didn’t hit it, then we saw a second shooting star that hit the plane and the noise of the engine stopped.  I did not hear sounds of the shots in the direction of the plane, but I heard the noise of the explosion of the aircraft as it crashed very close to the presidential residence in Kanombe.”[19]  This witness was very close to Camp Kanombe.  If the shots came from Camp Kanombe, he would have heard them.  Moreover, the Mutsinzi Report indicates that Pascal Ngirumpatse was with a group of witnesses who confirmed the shots on the plane came from the area around the Residence, Nyarugunga or above the Nyandungu valley.[20]  The Report never indicated Camp Kanombe and, even less, each of the positions 1, 2, and 6, as being the spots from whence the missiles were launched.

Ø    The College of Experts is not credible when it references Witness #10 (Samson Turatsinze), who discredits himself in these terms:  The list of positions and directions that the witness indicated are so imprecise, though they are very close to the scene.  So it is getting more difficult to know if he is indicating the origin of a shot or the explosion of the plane.”[21]  Additionally, Samson Turtsinze was with a group of witnesses who stated to the Mutsinzi Committee that the shots came from within the enclosure of the Presidential Residence or very near the Residence.[22]  In his testimony to the Mutsinzi Committee, he literally stated:  The shots came from below the enclosure at President Habyarimana’s residence. From where I was at Camp Kanombe, I saw their point of origin.  Then I was in a place where I also saw the plane.  I swear that these shots that blew up the plane came from chez Habyarimana.  You can see that they came from the position of the Presidential Guard.”[23]

In section titled “General Analysis of Testimonies,” the College of Experts concludes by saying that the directions observed by the witnesses Matthieu Gerlache (#1) and Pascal Ngirumpatse (#4) might correspond to one of the firing positions, 1, 2, or 6, located in the area of Camp Kanombe[24].  Once again, the College of Experts refrains from mentioning, in this conclusion, the other possible firing positions suggested by the directions observed by the other ten witnesses.  Neither does it mention that among these ten witnesses one, Jacques Gashoke, is admittedly “the only one of all the witnesses to be well placed to notice a difference in the origins of the missile firings.”[25]

However, we have already established above that Pascal Ngirumpatse never mentioned, in any of his statements, that the shots came from one or the other of positions 1, 2, or 6.  What is more, the College of Experts, itself, wrote that Witness Ngirumpatse saw the bright contrails between Kanombe and the presidential villa[26]; which confirms that, considering this witness’s position near Camp Kanombe and the landing approach, the bright contrails observed unavoidably indicate a direction from the area around Masaka and not where positions 1, 2, and 6 were located.  We have also shown that the College of Experts distorted the testimony of witness Matthieu Gerlache in order to make him falsely state that the missiles were fired from Camp Kanombe.  After that, the College could not use these two witnesses to support its allegation that the missiles could have come from any of the positions 1, 2, and 6, located in Camp Kanombe.

The College of Experts did not meet with witness Jacques Gashoke though he is on the list of those 12 summoned and that, according to the College, “this witness is particularly well placed to know the origin of the missile firings[27].”  Was he passed over because, in his testimony on 1 January 1995, he clearly stated that the missiles were fired from Masaka?

Witnesses Pasuch and Daubresse consistently testified that the shots came from Masaka.  Their statements are corroborated by those of witnesses Jacques Gashoke and Mattieu Gerlach.  They were not seen by the College of Experts.  Yet, the College also acknowledges that of all the positions considered, positions (3) and (4) located in the area of Masaka are the best positions, where the probability of reaching the objective is the highest[28].  How can one not conclude that the College of Expert drove around these key witnesses because their statements indicated that the missiles came from Masaka and not Kanombe?

The Belgian military witnesses (Pasuch, Daubresse and Gerlache) testified for the first time in Rwanda, before the Belgian Military hearing on 13 April 1994, only one week after the events.  Witness Jacques Gashoke was deposed in Rwanda by the Belgian Military hearing on 1 January 1995.  It would have been better if these witnesses had been interviewed by the Experts, these four witnesses surely had much more precise recollections of what they saw and heard given the short time between their testimonies and the events about which they testified.  The College of Experts did not furnish any reason for its choice to meet only with those witnesses whose first depositions were taken by the Mutsinzi Committee in 2008, that is 14 years after the events.  The three Belgian soldiers and Mr. Jacques Gashoke are certainly more credible than the eight ex-FAR members seen by the College of Experts.  And as all of them had rejoined the RPF after its victory they were under its control and could not speak freely.  Highly vulnerable and easily manipulated, they were obliged to tell the story their masters wanted told or to lie in order to save their own lives.

4.   The missile struck the plane very near the hill at Runvonza and not above the hill at Kanombe

The Report established that [after being hit] the plane flew a distance of about 400 meters before hitting the ground.[29]

In his testimony before the Belgian Military hearing on 1 January 1995, Witness GASHOKE, an ethnic Tutsi, explained how he observed the events:

“On 6 April 1994, I was at Kanombe, below the Commons House; about 20:30 I was outside and I saw the President’s plane coming in.  I saw a bright light pass through the sky and brush the tail of the plane.  This bright light continued on its flight path.  The color of this light was reddish.  A second light followed very closely and this one hit the plane and I got the impression that it hit the side.  The plane immediately exploded.  It seemed to me that the plane was very [sic] to me when it was hit.  The plane had passed by the hill (RUNUONZA) when it was hit.  The distance between the two bright lights was about 50 meters.  I was directly in line with the runway and to me the lights seemed to come from the direction of the hill at Masaka.”[30]

So, when the plane was hit by the missile, Witness Gashoke, who was below the communal office of Kanombe, saw it in front of him toward the East, close to the hill at Runyonza.  But, according to the Report, “the missile hit the plane practically above this witness.”[31] So the conclusion by the College of Experts on the point of impact is contradicted by Gashoke’s being acknowledged as the witness “particularly well placed to determine the origins of the shots.”[32]  It is also contradicted by the first investigations and the first conclusions drawn by the Belgian Military hearing that withheld, from the testimonies of Gerlache, Pasuch and Gashoke, that the shots did not come from Camp Kanombe but from Masaka, and that the point where the missiles struck was farther to the East, near the hill at Runyonza.[33]

The College of Experts determined the point where the missile hit the plane by means of the wreckage and the flight path of the plane.  But, already in 2006, one of the first people to see the wreckage, Major Aloys Ntabakuze, testified before the ICTR that the debris was scattered and was found more than 200 meters toward the East of the President’s residence[34].  This testimony was corroborated by the deposition of General de Saint Quentin as reprised in the Report:  He went to the scene and saw that the wreckage of the plane was scatter, as much inside the Residence as outside.”[35]

The College of Experts acknowledges that the debris found at the crash site represents less than 20% of the aircraft.[36]  It mentions that some of the debris from the plane was probably buried and covered with earth.[37]  It offers that the plane could have made an evasive maneuver after the first missile was fired[38], and thus could have altered its initial flight path.  So it can be said that the median line was determined in a very careless manner, since the greatest part of the wreckage was not found.  In these conditions, the point where the missile hit the plane as calculated and determined by the College of Experts, notably by means of two factors, the median line and the flight path[39], is highly questionable.  It does no good to set aside the testimony of Gashoke, who unequivocally confirmed that the missile struck the plane near the hill at Runyonza.

By all evidence, if the missiles had been fired from any of the points, 1, 3, or 6, in order to hit the plane 400 meters from the point of the crash, Mr. Jacques Gashoke, recognized as the best positioned witness, would not have been able to see them looking toward the East from the spot he was in.   We believe that if the College of Experts had not moved the point of impact toward Kanombe hill, the firing points 1, 2, or 6, chosen arbitrarily, would be outside the probable range of the SA 16 missile used to shoot down the plane.  Given that the College established that the plane could have been struck by fire from the rear (180º) to the ¾-front (45º)[40], these positions would have been outside the probable zone for reaching the plane.

From the examination of the wreckage and the explosive engine that generated the fire ball that he witnesses saw, the College of Experts concluded: (1) that the missile struck the left wing of the plane from below and (2) that this could only have been done by a missile fired from just one of the positions 1, 2, or 6.[41]  We believe that the College could not have come to this second conclusion without the hypothesis placing the point of impact above the hill at Kanombe.  Because a missile fired from the farm at Masaka, and whose impact on the plane happened near the hill at Runyonza, as indicated by the witness Gashoke, could also have struck the left wing of the plane from below.

5.   The acoustic evaluation served as a technical argument for ignoring the credible witnesses who confirmed that the missiles were fired from Masaka

Appointed on 20 April 2010, the College of Experts visited Rwanda from 12 to 17 September 2010.  While it was supposed to present its report before 31 March 2011, on 17 March 2011, two weeks before the due date, the College of Experts asked for an extension and the appointment of an acoustics expert.  The acoustics expert was contracted on 29 March 2011.[42]  It is incomprehensible that the College of Experts waited until the moment the final conclusions of their report were to be drawn to decide that they needed the help of an additional acoustics expert not anticipated in the terms of reference.

Even more troubling is the justification put forth by the College to support this demand:   Following the methods of acoustic propagation, we will be able to favor or, a contrario, to reject one or several sites.”[43] Moreover, the College insisted on locating the Pasuch home and making it one of the points of reference in relation to the six possible firing positions that they had pre-identified in their general analysis of the testimonies[44], while they failed to meet with Pasuch on the ground.  The experts indicated that they asked the acoustics expert to compare the durations of the sounds between the positions from where the missiles were fired and where the witnesses located in a quarter that included individual houses, including that of Mr. and Mrs. Pasuch, inside Camp Kanombe.[45]

So it is clear that the acoustics expert was on a mission to help the College of Experts resolve the prickly question posed by the testimonies of Pasuch and Daubresse, which do not place the missile firings in Camp Kanombe, but in the area around Masaka.  The fact that the acoustics expert did not try to go to the scene in Rwanda to visit the locations makes his late contribution seriously suspect.  The College of Experts found it normal that the acoustics expert was the only expert not to go to the terrain in Rwanda as long as his analysis jibed with their initial hypothesis.  This is why this expert was pressed to base his conclusions on simulations carried out in France, under environmental conditions completely different from those of Masaka and Kanombe, as well as taking place in 2011 instead of April 1994.

Despite this acoustics expert’s basing his analyses on less than reliable hypotheses and that he never went to the scene in Rwanda, his evaluation was the determining factor in the conclusions of the final report submitted to Judges Marc Trévidic and Nathalie Poux.  This element throws some serious discredit on the final report turned in by the College of Experts and presented to the interested parties on 10 January 2012.

6.   Some considerations regarding the analysis of the witnesses’ testimony

It is notable that throughout the report, especially in Chapter 8.5.11, titled “Perception of the events—Analysis of the testimony[46], the College of Experts did not correctly interpret the statements of several witnesses, particularly those of Pasuch, Daubresse, Gerlache, Gashoke and General de Saint Quentin.  The College states that the analysis of testimony relating to the perception of the events was conducted on the basis of the results of the acoustics evaluation.[47]  On this basis the College concluded that:

According to the acoustic study conducted by J.P. Serre, the comments of the witnesses point toward the missiles being fired from the area of Camp Kanombe, near the homes of Saint Quentin and Pasuch.  Actually, the [two] missile firings from Masaka, a distance of 2177 m (position 3) and 2722 m (position 4), respectively, from the Pasuch home, could not have been discerned with the acoustic discrimination needed to be able to make a certain identification:
The sounds made by the engines of these missiles enable us to draw enough  information, at this stage of the evaluation, to eliminate, with strong probability, the firing zone as being Masaka.”[48]

What emerges from this conclusion is that the acoustic evaluation was determinant for the College of Experts to be able to free itself from the testimony of witness Gashoke, who observed the events as they happened, right in front of him.  The same acoustic analysis allowed the College to interpret and distort the testimonies of witness Pasuch and his companions, who have unwaveringly stated that the shots came from Masaka and not from within a radius of 200 meters from the Pasuch home.

The first investigations and the first conclusions of the Belgian Military hearing reason that, from the testimonies of Gerlache, Pasuch and Gashoke, the shots did not come from Camp Kanombe but from Masaka, and the point of impact of the missile was far to the East, near the hill at Runyonza[49].  The testimony of witness Gashoke was not considered by the College, even though it had called him as one of 12 witnesses and acknowledged that he was “the only witness to be well placed enough to make a difference in the origins of the missile firings.”[50]  By ignoring this key witness without any explanation, the experts betrayed their own mandate as expressed in these terms:  If the statements of a witness are incompatible with the technical data, and especially the topographical data, explain the precise reasons for disregarding this testimony.”[51]
This witness was ignored simply because he backed up the Belgian witnesses, Pasuch, Daubresse, Gerlache and Mme Van Deenen, and contradicted the thesis according to which the shots should have come from Camp Kanombe.

By removing “with strong probability” from the hypothesis that the missiles were fired from Masaka, the acoustics expert sets forth that “the missiles fired from Masaka, at a distance of 2177 m (position 3) and 2722 m (position 4), respectively, from the Pasuch home, could not have been discerned with the acoustic discrimination needed to make a certain identification.”[52]  But witnesses Daubresse, Pasuch and Mme Van Deenen (all Belgian Military officers at the time) did not claim having heard, distinctly, the shots fired.  In fact:

Ø   In his testimony of 12 April 1994, Daubresse said this:  My first thought was of an accidental firing of an RPG-7.”  As to the origins of the shots, Daubresse again declared:  Maximum distance 5 km from our location.  The minimum distance very difficult to judge in the order of a kilometer.”[53]  Daubresse remembers a first shot followed quickly by a second and a sort of whizzing noise without being able to tell precisely if it was the sound of the missile climbing toward the plane or that of the missile at the moment it hit the plane.  He doesn’t know if there were not perhaps three shots.[54]

Ø   In his testimony of 13 April 1994, Pasuch stated:  I completely agree with the statement of Dr./Major Daubresse (surgeon).”[55]

Ø   In her testimony of 12 October 2011, Mme Van Deenen says that she heard “a bang similar to that of a shot from a FNC.”[56]

         SA 16 missile                                 RPG-7 grenade launcher
KNC 5.56mm Belgian 
Assault Rifle

If the shots came from position 2, located at 203 m, or position 6, at 116 m from the Pasuch house, the witnesses who were in that house would have been able to locate with precision the points of fire.  They would not have had difficulty judging the distances or distinguishing the sounds.  At this short distance, the two Belgian officers, Daubresse and Pasuch, would not have taken the noise of a missile for that of an RPG-7.[57]  Mme Van Deenen, also a Belgian officer, would not have mixed up the sound of a missile with that of FNC, a 5.56mm Belgian assault rifle.[58]

General de Saint Quentin speaks of from 500 to 1000 meters of distance.  It must be noted that he did not see the bright contrails of the fired missiles and therefore, his testimony is of no interest.  In any case, if the missiles were fired from one of the positions, 1, 2, or 6, located between 50 and 250 meters of his house, he would have had no difficulty distinguishing the shots or judging the distances.  As a military professional, General de Saint Quentin would have, at this short distance, been able to know if it had been an anti-aircraft weapon or a fire arm on the ground.[59]

It is surprising to note that the College of Experts gave so much weight to the question of acoustics while the perception of sound depends on the quality of a person’s hearing and the environmental conditions.  Moreover, no witness claimed to have clocked the events.  Everything happened by surprise and in a very short span of time.  The measurements in time given by certain witnesses can only be very approximate.

Having acknowledged that all the positions studied, positions (3) and (4) located in Masaka were the best, where the probability of reaching the objective was highest[60], the College of Experts has to justify why, in its working hypotheses and its conclusions, it favors positions 2 and 6, chosen arbitrarily and, at the time of the events, located in a wooded area that would have made the execution of a missile strike impossible.[61]

7.   Conclusion

We think the College of Experts was influenced by the Rwandan authorities.  It constructed its working hypotheses on the most unreliable testimonies, gathered 14 years after the events, after having discarded without valid reason testimonies that are far more credible because they are contemporaneous with the events.  It has given a determinant importance to the conclusions of the acoustics expert who did not visit the scene of the crime but satisfied himself with simulations conducted in France on a terrain the environmental conditions of which are much different from those in Kanombe and Masaka, as well as taking place in 2011 instead of April 1994.

In view of everything that has preceded, it would be dangerous to hold on to the suggestion made by the College of Experts that the missiles could have been fired from Kanombe and that the point of impact of the missile on the plane was 400 meters from the point where the plane hit the ground.  We support that the missiles were fired from Masaka, as affirmed by the most credible witnesses.  Equally, the point of impact of the missile with the plane was not above the hill in Kanombe, but very near the hill in Runyonza, as observed by the witness Gashoke.

We believe that the statements of credible witnesses must, first and without distortion, be taken into consideration and, if necessary, a counter-evaluation carried out, so as to draw definitive conclusions on the places from which the missiles were fired that shot down the Falcon 50 of President Habyarimana, in the evening of 6 April 1994.

Arusha, 12 February 2012


1.   Current map of Kanombe showing the new cemetery;

[1] Rwandan Patriotic Front
[2] The Independent Committee of Experts charged with the investigation of the crash on 04/06/94 of the Falcon 50 aircraft, tail number 9XR-NN.  Because this Committee was headed by M. Jean Mutsinzi, the Committee and its Report will henceforth be referred to as “The Mutsinzi Committee” and “The Mutsinzi Report”, respectively.
[3] Notice that the submission of the report was postponed several times.  At its first due-date, 31 March 2011, it was put off until 30 November 2011, and finally until 10 January 2012 (see the Report pp. 10-18).  It is curious to note that the new depositions of witness Pasuch and his companions are introduced just after 30 September 2011, and that the new deposition of General de Saint Quentin is introduced after 30 November 2011.
[4] Technical Report, pp. 69-88
[5] The nine were:  Nsengiyumva, Tharcisse (Witness #2) testified on 4 June 2008 (p. 146 of the Mutsinzi Report); Siborurema, Silas (Witness #3) 18 April 2008 (pp. 64, 171, 177); Ngirumpatse, Pascal (#4) 15 October 2008 (p. 177); Mutwarangabo, Jean Bosco (#5) 10 October 2008 (pp. 176-177); Bwanakweri, Isidore (#6) 12 June 2008, 8 August 2008 & 13 October 2008 (pp. 19, 174); Nsengiyumva, Théogène (#7) 8 October 2008 (p. 178); Ntwarane, Anastase (#8) 3 July 2008 & 13 November 2008 (pp. 61, 174); Turatsinze, Samson (#10) 13 August 2008 (p. 174); Munyaneza, Patrice (#11) 6 March 2008 (pp. 57-58).
[6] Reaction of the UN prisoners in Arusha to the Mutsinzi Report, pp. 22-24.
[7] Mutsinzi Report, p. 177.  Notice that “above Nyarugungu” [rendered ‘Nyandungu’ in original note—mc] is in the area of Masaka.
[8] Technical Report, pp. 21-34
[9] See in the annex the current map of Kanombe showing the new cemetery:  The letter “A” on the green bottom with an arrow pointing down is in Camp Kanombe between the house of Dr. Pasuch and the new cemetery.  The arrow indicates the new cemetery that is in the clear area bounded by two roads and the afforestation.
[10] Technical Report, p. 61
[11] Technical Report, p. 313 [It is important to note that from 100 meters and beyond to the south of positions 2 & 6, one could not see, in the direction of the communal office of Kanombe, an aircraft landing because of the altitude and the woods at the summit of the hill at Kanombe, while to the east of positions 2 & 6, there were civilian residences (completely outside the Camp) that were completely covered by banana trees.  Again, no witness mentioned this area as a position from whence missile were fired].
[12] See for example:  In the Belgian file, entry K0075681, “Arial photography of Camp Kanombe”.  This evidence can be found in annex 7 of the letter of 18 February 2010, attached to this analysis.
[13] See the maps of Rwanda from this period, especially Annex 4 of the letter from 18 February 2010 and the photos in the Belgian dossier cited above.
[14] For the three witnesses not called, the College used their testimony found in the case file.
[15] Technical Report, p. 88
[16] See Annex 3 of the letter from the Detainees of the UNDF of 18 February 2010
[17] Technical Report, p. 262
[18] Mutsinzi Report, pp. 63-64
[19] ICTR document Number K0151212 – K0151217
[20] Mutsinzi Report, p. 177
[21] Technical Report, p. 281
[22] Mutsinzi Report, p. 174
[23] Investigation into the crash of Dassault Falcon 50 Registration Number 9XR-NN on 6 April 1994 carrying former [sic] President Juvénal Habyarimana, pages 27 & 50
[24] Technical Report, p. 288
[25] Technical Report, p. 279
[26] Technical Report, pp. 269 & 288
[27] Technical Report, p. 278
[28] Technical Report, pp. 311-313 and C20-C21
[29] Technical Report, p. 193
[30] Statement of Mr. Jacques Gashoke made before the military hearing in Brussels on 1 January 1995.  Document filed with the ICTR and numbered K007384 – K0073788.  The hill in question in his testimony is Runyonza and not Runuounza (there is a typo here).  The hill at Runyonza is just in front of the farm at Masaka toward the north (See the map of Rwanda 1/50000)
[31] This is confirmed by the College of Experts on page 278 of the Report.
[32] Technical Report, p. 278
[33] Belgian Gendarmerie:  Military Hearing. File Photos:  Habyarimana assassination, photography K0075675
[34] Testimony of Major Ntabakuze, Aloys, in the case of the Prosecutor v Bagosora et al., 18 September 2006, p. 39
[35] Technical Report, p. 22
[36] Technical Report, p.100
[37] Technical Report, p. 187
[38] Technical Report, p. 183 and C2
[39] Technical Report, p. 188
[40] Technical Report, p. 240
[41] Technical Report, pp. 301; 324 and 336
[42] Technical Report, p. 12
[43] Technical Report, p. 12
[44] Technical Report, p. 224
[45] Technical Report, p. 221
[46] Technical Report, pp. 260-290, especially pp. 286-290
[47] Technical Report, p. 259
[48] Technical Report, pp. 288-289
[49] Belgian Gendarmerie:  Military Hearing. Photographic File:  Habyarimana assassination, photo K0075675
[50] Technical Report, p. 279
[51] Technical Report, p. 8
[52] Technical Report, p. 288
[53] See Annex 1 of the letter from the UNDF Detainees of 18 February 2010
[54] Technical Report, p. 33
[55] See Annex 2 of the letter from the UNDF Detainees of 18 February 2010
[56] Technical Report, p. 31
[57] An SA-16 missile is a 70 mm/caliber, while an RPG-7 is a 40 mm/caliber (See the description on pages C5 and 116, respectively, of the Technical Report)
[58] Technical Report, p. 34
[59] Technical Report, p. 34
[60] Technical Report, pp. 311-313 and C20-C21
[61] Notice that positions 1 (near the military hospital in Kanombe) and 5 (pig farm near the presidential villa) are the only ones to have been totally excluded by the College (see pp. 290, 312-313 of the Report).

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