.- Burundian rebels assassinated Archbishop Michael Courtney Dec. 29 since his car was flying the Vatican flag, states a recent draft report by a commission that was appointed by the government to investigate the Vatican envoy’s death.
The Associated Press saw the draft report, which has not yet been released officially, and filed the story March 2.
The archbishop was killed in the central African country when his car, flying the papal flag, was ambushed at a checkpoint south of Bujumbura, the capital.
The draft report states: “Courtney was deliberately assassinated by (rebel) combatants since his car was flying the Vatican flag.”
In preparing the report, the government commission conducted an investigation and interviewed 21 witnesses, including Dieudonne Hakizimana, a rebel who was arrested Feb. 3.
Hakizimana, who claims he participated in the attack on the archbishop, told reporters: "We laid an ambush on the archbishop's car ... we had been given orders to stop all passing cars and to shoot any car which did not stop."
The National Liberation Forces denied the accusations and instead accused the government of killing the archbishop.