Rwandan authorities have accused Claude Muhayimana of involvement in the killing of thousands of people in a church and a stadium in the western district of Kibuye. At the time, Muhayimana was working as a driver for a guesthouse.
A French judge ordered on November 9 that Muhayimana stand trial for “complicity” in genocide and crimes against humanity “by aiding and assisting”.
But more serious charges linked to the massacre were abandoned at the request of the Paris prosecutor due to problems with evidence, a judicial source told AFP on Monday.
The trial will be suspended during an appeal filed by the defence against the judge’s decision.
Muhayimana, a refugee who obtained French nationality in 2010, was arrested in 2014 in the northern city of Rouen. He was previously released in 2015 after an appeals court ruled in his favour.
Rwanda has requested his extradition, but a French appeals court refused to extradite him on the grounds that the crime of genocide was not on the statute books in Rwanda in 1994.
It will be the third trial in France in connection to the Rwandan genocide, after a former army officer in 2014 and two mayors in 2016.
Around 800,000 people — mostly members of the minority Tutsi community — were killed in a 100-day spree of violence, largely by Hutus, in the genocide.