Genocide suspect Leopold Munyakazi will get a fair trial in the country, Prosecutor-General Richard Muhumuza has said.
Munyakazi was extradited by the US government, yesterday, and transferred into custody of Rwanda National Police and Rwanda National Prosecution Authority (NPPA), who placed him under temporary detention as he awaits appearance before court to be formally charged.
He is accused of participating in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, complicity in the Genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, as well as extermination and murder as crimes against humanity.
The National Public Prosecution Authority issued an international arrest warrant and extradition request against Munyakazi in 2008 after he had escaped the country pending investigation about the genocide charges.
“The National Public Prosecution Authority of Rwanda guarantees a fair trial to Munyakazi in accordance with national legislations and other international instruments ratified by the Republic of Rwanda,” said Prosecutor-General Richard Muhumuza in a statement released shortly after the transfer of the fugitive to Rwandan authorities.
“The National Public Prosecution Authority seizes this opportunity to appreciate the relevant authorities for the deportation and the continued cooperation in matters of mutual legal assistance and making an effective contribution to the global effort to eliminate impunity.”
Prosecution spokesperson Faustin Nkusi said Munyakazi will be interrogated by Police within five days and a statement will be handed to NPPA, which will, in turn, have about five days to examine the file and present the suspect in court.
Nkusi also said the Government will provide the accused with a lawyer and also educate him about his rights.
“We are a country that abides by the law and respects people’s rights,” he said, explaining that the suspect will be assisted by the government to get a defence lawyer because he doesn’t have one at the moment.
Nkusi said Munyakazi will be temporarily detained at Kicukiro Police Station pending his trial in Muhanga District, Southern Province, where he is accused of participating in organising and carrying out genocide in former Kayenzi commune.
Munyakazi is the fourth Genocide fugitive that US has deported or extradited to Rwanda.
The US has so far received slightly over 20 indictments from Rwanda for suspected Genocide perpetrators believed to be living within its jurisdiction.
Munyakazi’s deportation was a stern warning that Genocide suspects will never have a place to hide in the world, Rwandan prosecutors and law enforcement officials said at a news conference shortly after receiving the suspect yesterday. They also vowed that they will never give up on pursuing Genocide suspects wherever they are.
The Government has issued more than 600 indictments and arrest warrants against Genocide suspects on the run.
They are believed to be living in more than 30 countries around the world, including in Africa, Europe, North America, and New Zealand.
Countries that receive the indictments are asked to either try the suspects in their own courts or send them to Rwanda to face trials in Rwandan courts.