The Hourigan Report (1997)
Rwanda  Plane crash  ICTR

[ICTR Investigation into Juvenal Habyarimana & Cyprien Ntaryamira plane crash, suppressed by Louise Arbour.]

Louise Arbour

[2009] The Dallaire Genocide Fax by Christopher Black  This report (a copy of which is in the author's possession) was written by an Australian lawyer acting as the head of the investigative team at the ICTR assigned by then prosecutor Louise Arbour to determine who shot down the plane. She was acting under the theory that "extremist" Hutus in the Rwandan government shot down the plane. Hourigan and his team were successful in finding three members of the shootdown team who stated they were RPF and that they were assisted by a foreign power (unnamed) and that they had the documents to prove it. They asked for protection. When Arbour was presented with these facts she ordered the investigation closed. The author was informed by a former FBI agent who worked at the ICTR that she did so on the instructions of the US ambassador in Rwanda. (Which would make her guilty of being an accessory to a war crime as the murder of a head of state in a war is a war crime and it is evident that the murder of the president and army chief of staff was the first action of the RPF offensive.) This report was first published in the National Post in Canada by a reporter named Stephen Edwards in 2001.
    The UN at first denied this report existed. But several defence counsel demanded its production so it was then "found" and sent under seal to the judges at the ICTR. They then released it to several defence teams.
    Hourigan wrote this report to the oversight office for some reason and is a summary of the complete file. Several requests have been made to have the complete investigative file released, without success. Hourigan is now said to be working as a lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia.

[2009] Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Propaganda System by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson  As we have already suggested, the established perpetrator-victim line requires suppression of the crucial fact that the April 6 shooting-down of the government jet returning Rwanda President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundi President Cyprian Ntaryamira to Kigali, that killed everyone onboard, was carried out by RPF commandos (as discussed below), and had been regarded by RPF planners as an essential first strike in its final assault on the government. Although the mass killings followed this assassination, with the RPF rapidly defeating any military resistance by the successor to Habyarimana’s coalition government and establishing its rule in Rwanda, these prime génocidaires were, and still are today, portrayed as heroic defenders of Rwanda’s national unity against Hutu “extremists” and the Interahamwe militia, who were the RPF’s actual victims.
.......We also know a lot more about “who assassinated Habyarimana.” In one of the most important, and also suppressed, stories about “The Genocide,” former ICTR investigator Michael Hourigan developed evidence as far back as 1996-1997, based on the testimony of three RPF informants who claimed “direct involvement in the 1994 fatal rocket attack upon the President’s aircraft,” and “specifically implicated the direct involvement of [Kagame]” and other members of the RPF. But in early 1997, when Hourigan hand-delivered his evidence to the ICTR’s chief prosecutor Louise Arbour, the latter was “aggressive” and “hostile,” Hourigan recounts in a 2006 affidavit, and advised him that the “investigation was at an end because in her view it was not in [the ICTR’s] mandate.” This decision, which “astounded” Hourigan, was rejected by former ICTR chief prosecutor Richard Goldstone, who told a Danish newspaper that the assassination was “clearly related to the genocide,” as it was the “trigger that started the genocide.”
    Suppressing evidence of the assassination’s perpetrator has been crucial in the West, as it seems awkward that the “trigger” for “The Genocide” was ultimately pulled, not by the officially designated Hutu villains, but by the Tutsi victors in this conflict, the RPF, long-supported by the United States and by its close allies (who very possibly aided the assassins in the shoot-down). It has also been important to suppress the fact that the first Hutu president of Burundi, Melchior Ndadaye, had been assassinated by Tutsi officers in his army in October 1993, an action celebrated by the RPF and arousing fears among Rwanda’s Hutu.
    A far more comprehensive eight-year investigation by the French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière, who had been asked to rule on the deaths of the three French nationals operating the government jet that was shot down in April 1994, concluded that the assassination followed from Kagame’s rejection of the Arusha power-sharing accords of August 1993, and that for Kagame, the “physical elimination” of Habyarimana was therefore essential to achieving the goal of an RPF-takeover in Rwanda.32 Bruguière issued nine arrest warrants for high-ranking RPF members close to Kagame, and requested that the ICTR itself take up Kagame’s prosecution, as under French law, Bruguière could not issue an arrest warrant for a head of state.
    As best we can tell, the existence of Hourigan’s evidence has been reported only once in two U.S. newspapers (the Los Angeles Times and Seattle Times), and never in the New York Times, Washington Post, or Wall Street Journal; Bruguière’s findings were mentioned in several U.S. newspapers (sixteen that we have found), including three short items in the Washington Post, a major report in the Los Angeles Times (reprinted in the Seattle Times), and one blurb apiece in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, which totaled ninety-four words. Interestingly, the U.S. media have reported fairly often on Bruguière’s work as a “counterterrorism” specialist in France, including several dozen items in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. But when we checked the U.S. media for Bruguière’s eight-year inquiry into mass killings in Rwanda—a case where his focus was on a U.S. client-agent as the primary villain—their interest declines to almost zero. The propaganda system works.