Justice Jean Mutsinzi, 81, the first Chief justice of Rwanda in the wake of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi has died following a short illness at King Faisal Hospital this morning.
Mutsinzi, is most known for a report that investigated the crash of the plane of President Juvénal Habyarimana in April 1994 which was followed by the Genocide where over a million Tutsi perished in three consecutive months.
The report entitled “Report of The Investigation into the Causes and Circumstances of and Responsibility for The Attack Of 06/04/1994 Against the Falcon 50 Rwandan Presidential Aeroplane was also simply summarized as “Falcon Report”.
The Committee of Experts that was chaired by Mutsinzi on this matter, thus giving the report the name of Mutsinzi report was created via prime ministerial decree in April 2007 and given the task of “establishing the truth regarding the circumstances of the crash of the Falcon-50 airplane, registration number 9XR-NN on April 6, 1994.”
This seven-member panel worked tirelessly, collecting and analyzing thousands of documents and interviewing nearly 600 witnesses who either observed what happened or had information directly related to the attack.
“The committee which also brought on board several experts produced a rigorous report that not only corrects the historical record, but also lays bare the shoddy and politically‐motivated work of those who have sought to render judgment from afar,” indicates the Mutsinzi website.
Mutsinzi was on the helm of a judicial system that started from ash after many judges were killed, at a time when Rwanda was struggling to find a formula to give justice that was jeopardized by genocide planners and perpetrators.
Millions of cases were on his table.
He left a well-established, internationally recognized judicial sector which corrected the past mistakes of previous regime.
He left at a time when the rule of law in Rwanda is no longer questionable.
Among other services, Mutsinzi was a jurist in in the African Court of Human and People’s Right.
He was elected for a six-year term of office on 22 January 2006 at the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union Held in Khartoum.
He was nominated in September 2008, as President of the African Court for a first term of two years.
Mutsinzi holds a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Brussels, Belgium.
Back in years, he served as a Professor of Law at the then National University of Zaire and back home, the Kigali Independent University.