Prosecution to indict 250 Genocide fugitives in 2017

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Nkusi during a past media briefing. / Internet photo

The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) is set to file at least 250 extradition requests for Genocide suspects around the world this year in a bid to ensure more genocidaires still at large are brought to book.

In the quest to bring Genocide suspects to book, NPPA last year alone managed to issue 200 extradition requests targeting mostly suspects living in some African countries that, according to reports, host as many suspects as those in the Western world.

Speaking on the prospects for this year, NPPA spokesperson Faustin Nkusi told The New Times that they hope to engage host countries to either extradite suspects or arraign them before their courts as the last alternative.

“A total of 206 indictments were issued outside the country last year and our target this year is 250,” he said.

“Two fugitives were brought back home – Ladislas Ntaganzwa from DR Congo and Hussein Minani from Tanzania – and so far six fugitive cases have been tried by Rwandan courts,” he said.

Ntaganzwa’s case is yet to start in substance having been postponed last month by the High Court to March, while Minani’s was transferred to Huye Primary Court after remand.

Push for extradition requests

Although Africa has the highest number of indicted fugitives since the creation of the Genocide tracking unit in 2007, more than 600 indictments and international arrest warrants have been issued against Genocide suspects in 32 countries in Africa, Europe, North America, Canada and New Zealand.

Speaking earlier on extradition treaties with some African countries, Nkusi said the essence of having such treaties is that the process becomes faster, efficient towards delivery of justice.

According to Nkusi, a host country investigates, apprehends and sends the suspects to courts, which then will rule on extraditions.

In the event that this is not possible, Rwanda’s stance is that host countries try the suspects, he added.

Improvement in conviction rate

In 2017, the prosecution committed to increase the conviction rate to 93 per cent – slightly above 92.5 per cent registered last year – and increase customer care service at the rate of 96 per cent.

Financial crimes will be handled at 100 per cent in the current year.

Nkusi said out of 25,453 case files received last year, NPPA handled 25,285 (99.3 per cent), with hope of maintaining the rate this year.

Launching the judicial year last October, President Paul Kagame stressed the need to stamp out human trafficking, child abuse and gender based violence, hence encouraging the judiciary to put a tougher stance on such cases.

A report on human trafficking from prosecution shows a reduction on the lodged cases in the year 2014/15; 41 cases out of 51 filed were concluded, while 10 of them are still being investigated.

Officials cited low levels of awareness among the causes of human trafficking. Victims are often lured by traffickers who promise them good jobs abroad or scholarships only to end up working as slaves, maids or destitute casual labourers

editorial@newtimes.co.rw