The second trial in Paris for the former Rwandan prefect, accused of his alleged involvement in the 1994 Tutsi genocide. On Tuesday, he continued to declare his innocence while experts looked at his psychological profile.
With our Special Correspondent at the Paris Assize Court, Pierre Firtion
This Tuesday morning, the judges listed all the witnesses who will be brought to testify during the two-month interrogation. The president of the court and the judges then read the initial report, a long summary of the accusations against the accused. The court then turned to his personality.
It was then that Laurent Bucyibaruta could express himself. “Thank you, Mr. President, for giving me the floor.” After silently listening to the facts for which he was accused, the accused gives his first words in the middle of the afternoon. Sick, he had to sit on a chair to express himself.
When asked by the President of the Court about his personality, Laurent Bucyibaruta tells his personal story, his birth in 1944 in Musange, his brothers and sisters, his professional career. He sometimes speaks with difficulty, his voice trembling when he talks about his parents, long gone.
No special pathology An expert, who wrote down his psychological profile 20 years ago, portrays a “completely normal man”, intelligent, equipped with an ethical mind. A man who does not present any particular pathology, very careful, who likes to be in control … but who makes himself a victim.
► Read also: Genocide of Tutsis: Laurent Bucyibaruta eligible to stand trial in court
One of the defendant’s lawyers intervenes: “Will an innocent person say that I am innocent myself? he asks, before deciding: “he claims his innocence”. The expert psychologist also points to the lack of emotional fiber in the accused during the expertise.
“You can not always cry,” defends Laurent Bucyibaruta, quoting a Rwandan proverb: “A man’s tears flow inward.” This means, he explains, “that one can have emotions, but not express them permanently”.