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Top UK parliamentarian condemns Karake's arrest

Andrew Mitchell, a British parliamentarian and former cabinet minister, has described as an “abuse” of justice Saturday’s arrest in London of Rwanda’s head of National Intelligence and Security Services on a Spanish indictment.
Andrew Mitchell. (Net photo)
Andrew Mitchell. (Net photo)

Andrew Mitchell, a British parliamentarian and former cabinet minister, has described as an “abuse” of justice Saturday’s arrest in London of Rwanda’s head of National Intelligence and Security Services on a Spanish indictment.

“It’s a misuse of the European Arrest Warrant system,” the MP from the ruling Conservative Party said of Lt. Gen. Karenzi Karake’s arrest, according to media reports.

 

In an apparent reference to conclusions in a leaked American diplomatic cable about the 2008 indictments for alleged war crimes, Mitchell said, “As the Americans said, this is unresearched, politically motivated and lacking in facts and I agree with the American analysis of that.”

 

In an April 24, 2008 diplomatic cable from the US embassy in Kigali, the then US Ambassador to Rwanda, Michael R. Arietti, describes the 2008 indictments by a Spanish judge of 40 former and current Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) officials as “outrageous and inaccurate”.

 

“The Spanish indictment of 40 Rwandan military officers offers an unrecognizable version of some of the most painful and violent episodes in Rwanda's history, distorting the established record, inventing mass killings, placing the blame for any misfortune Rwandans have suffered (including the 1994 genocide) on the Kagame government,” the cable reads. “It is a bloated political tract, sloppily organized and endlessly repetitive”.

Meanwhile, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo on Tuesday blasted what she termed as “western solidarity in demeaning Africans” which she said was “unacceptable!!”

“It is an outrage to arrest a Rwandan official based on pro-genocidaires lunacy!” she wrote on Twitter.

The minister added, “The U.N in 2009 amply documented support of Spanish NGOs behind the preposterous “valid European arrest warrant” to genocidal militia FDLR!”

In 2009, A UN Group of Experts on the Congo reported that the two Spanish NGOs behind judge Andreu Merelles’ indictments, Inshuti and S'Oliver, had provided material support to FDLR, a DR Congo-based militia linked to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Karake was remanded in custody and is due to appear before a London court on Thursday.

In a statement released Tuesday, the British High Commission in Kigali confirmed his arrest by the UK Metropolitan Police, describing it as "a legal obligation, following the issue of a valid European arrest warrant".

It added that it "greatly values the close relationship with Rwanda".

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Justice minister Johnston Busingye said: “We are handling the matter with the UK Government. They have better details on this evolving situation.”

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