Rwanda Genocide Trial Opens in France

Twenty years after


Twenty years after the Rwanda genocide, France has opened its first trial of a suspected accomplice in the massacre that killed 800,000 people.

Former Rwandan intelligence chief Pascal Simbikangwa appeared in a Paris court Tuesday on the first day of the long-awaited trial, in which witnesses have traveled from the east African country to describe the former soldier's alleged role in arming and directing Hutu killers.

The 55-year old, a paraplegic since 1986, is charged with complicity in genocide and in crimes against humanity. He was arrested on the French Indian Ocean island of Mayotte in 2008. Simbikangwa denies the charges, his lawyer told CNN. If convicted, he faces life in prison.