Fate of wanted Genocide suspect held in US remains unclear

Rwanda awaits a US decision on the fate of Dr Leopold Munyakazi, a Genocide suspect, recently arrested in Maryland State after almost 10 years after he fled Rwanda.

Rwanda awaits a US decision on the fate of Dr Leopold Munyakazi, a Genocide suspect, recently arrested in Maryland State after almost 10 years after he fled Rwanda.

Munyakazi who is accused of genocide crimes had been detained at different prisons before he was granted bail pending further investigations.

Nevertheless, the 65-year old man, who once taught at the Kigali Institute of Education, managed to sneak out of the country in 2004 and applied for asylum in the US, which has been pending since then.

Last week, there were reports that the US immigration and custom enforcement department had apprehended and sent him to Maryland’s Howard County Immigration Centre for possible deportation.

He had been wearing movement tracking GPS devices for the past five years.

According to officials from the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), Rwanda issued an arrest warrant against Munyakazi in 2008 over genocide and has since been in negotiations with the US government for his extradition.

In a phone interview with The New Times, Jean Bosco Siboyintore, the head of Genocide Tracking Unit at NPPA, said the Government awaits official communication on the arrest of the Genocide suspect from the US government.

“We have not got any official communication from the US, but what we can disclose at the moment is that he has a pending case of genocide in Rwanda and we indicted him back in 2008.

“Fleeing itself was a crime; he violated the law that compelled him to stay inside the country. His arrest as reported would be welcomed, but we need to know the way forward,” he said.

The Genocide suspect who was in 2009 arrested in the US over accusations of overstaying his visa and Genocide revisionism, made a controversial speech in Delaware that negated the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, which led to his suspension from duty.

The former professor at Goucher College in Baltimore is reported to have been appealing against deportation from the US.

According to Roger Webb, the public affairs officer at the US Embassy in Kigali, Munyakazi has been processing his asylum papers since 2004 although he declined to comment further on the progress.

“At this moment we cannot divulge any information until all processes are concluded, but what we know is that he has been applying for an asylum, any other information I will let you know,” he told this paper yesterday.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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