The prosecutor, in a statement, said Kamali is accused of “involvement in the genocide of Tutsis committed in 1994 in Rwanda”. Kamali, who hails from central Rwanda, was employed at the ministry of transport during the genocide.

“It is a surprise because the case is so old,” said Alain Gauthier, the president of the French-based collective of civil parties for Rwanda (CPCR), which had filed a complaint against him in February 2009.

The anti-terrorist prosecutor, which also monitors cases of crimes against humanity, said that the suspect disputed the charges against him during his first appearance before a French judge.

Kamali was condemned to death, in absentia, by a court of Gitarama/Rwanda in 2003, but this sentenced was later “annulled” due to changes in Rwandan law, according to the CPCR.

In 2008, he was arrested at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris on his way back from the United States and Kigali demanded his extradition, a request that was rejected by the French justice system, as it has done for all suspects of participation in the genocide claimed by Rwanda.

A judicial investigation was opened in 2009 in Paris after the CPCR filed a complaint.

He is still wanted by Rwandan justice but France has so far refused to extradite him.

More than 1, 000,000 tutsi people were killed in the genocide between April and July of 1994.

To date, three  trials related to the genocide in Rwanda have resulted in the final conviction of three men in France.

Two other men are soon to be tried: Claude Muhayimana, a Franco-Rwandan former hotel driver accused of transporting militiamen, is due to appear from 22 November to 17 December while a former prefect, Laurent Bucyibaruta, will be tried from May 2022.(AFP)