Denmark extradites Genocide fugitive Wenceslas Twagirayezu

Genocide fugitive Wenceslas Twagirayezu in the hands of Rwanda National Police officers upon arrival at Kigali International Airport after he was deported from Denmark yesterday. Sam Ngendahimana.

Danish authorities on Tuesday extradited Genocide fugitive Wenceslas Twagirayezu, after he exhausted all legal avenues to contest his extradition to Rwanda to face trial.

Twagirayezu, 50, who is expected at the airport Tuesday evening, has been in custody since May last year and is accused of Genocide, extermination and murder as crimes against humanity.

The development was confirmed by the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) in a statement.

Prosecution charges that the suspect participated in the mass killing and extermination of Tutsi, where together with others attacked various places of former Rwerere Commune in the current Rubavu District, killing thousands.

Among others, he commanded attacks on Busasamana Catholic Parish where more than 3,000 Tutsi had sought refuge and over 1,000 were murdered here, according to prosecution.

Twagirayezu, who witness accounts indicate openly carried a gun during the Genocide, is also being pinned on killings at Mudende University where more 1,000 Tutsi civilians had sought refuge and others at the Institut Saint Fidele where teachers and students were forced to board a bus and transferred to Nyundo where they were killed.

“The National Public Prosecution Authority of Rwanda is prepared and ready to bring to Justice Twagirayezu Wenceslas before the specialized International Crimes Chamber of the High Court and guarantee that human rights in criminal proceedings will be fully observed in view of a fair trial,” the statement reads in part.

Prosecution also thanked the judicial authorities of Denmark and other relevant authorities for the facilitation of this extradition.

This is the second Rwandan to be extradited from the Nordic country; the first one being Emmanuel Mbarushimana, who was extradited in 2014.

Who is Twagirayezu?

Twagirayezu arrived in Denmark in 2001.

It is said that Twagirayezu, who has been running an organisation in Denmark known as Dutabarane Foundation, was once a teacher at Majambere Primary School in Busasamana Sector of the present Rubavu District.

He was well known in the former communes of Rubavu, Mutura and Rwerere in the current Western Province. He openly carried a gun during the Genocide, according to witness testimonies.

According to prosecution, the suspect was the president of the extremist party, CDR, in the former Gacurabwenge Sector in the current Rubavu District, and was a known militia leader in the area during the Genocide against the Tutsi.

CDR was composed of the most virulent members of the extremist political outfits that played a major role in the Genocide.

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