Described as a "genocide denier" and steeped in "extremist Hutu ideology", Simbikangwa on the first day of his trial, his defence team requested the lawsuit was dropped for a perceived "inequality of arms" with the prosecution. By Elsa Buchana

Already sentenced to 25 years, the prosecution believe Pascal Simbikangwa should face a harsher penalty. A French court has rejected the request made by a former Rwandan spy chief, who faces retrial in Paris on genocide charges, to have the case dropped.

The first "historic" probe to be handled by the Paris prosecutor's specialised war crimes units was that of former Rwandan intelligence chief Pascal Simbikangwa, 56, who was sentenced in March 2014 to 25 years in solitary confinement over his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, one of 20th century's greatest atrocities.
Former Rwandan spy chief faces retrial in Paris on genocide charges
Described as a "genocide denier" and steeped in "extremist Hutu ideology", Simbikangwa appeared before the Seine-Saint-Denis Assize Court in Bobigny (north-eastern of Paris) on Tuesday (25 October) after the prosecution appealed against his first conviction as they believe he should face a harsher penalty.
On the first day of his trial, due to last 32 days, his defence team requested the lawsuit was dropped for a perceived "inequality of arms" with the prosecution.
Having previously said their client was the victim of a "witch-hunt", Simbikangwa's lawyers claimed the defence only has "derisory" means compared to the Paris prosecutor's office, which set up a specialised unit to investigate crimes against humanity.
The court rejected the request, saying that it was not up to tribunal to "decide on the components of a fair trial", according to AFP news agency. His trial continues.