Uganda extradites Genocide suspect

KIGALI - The government of Uganda, on Wednesday, extradited to Rwanda a  genocide fugitive who was arrested last month. Jean Pierre Kwitonda alias Kapalata was arrested by the Uganda police on November 4 in Lukaya, Masaka District following a red notice issued by Interpol Rwanda.

KIGALI - The government of Uganda, on Wednesday, extradited to Rwanda a  genocide fugitive who was arrested last month.

Jean Pierre Kwitonda alias Kapalata was arrested by the Uganda police on November 4 in Lukaya, Masaka District following a red notice issued by Interpol Rwanda.

He has since been detained at Kireka police station, a suburb of the Ugandan capital Kampala.

Kwitonda was handed over by Charles Tumwesigye, from Interpol Directorate in Kampala.  Tony Kulamba, head of Interpol Rwanda received the suspect at Gatuna border post.

Kwitonda who fled the country in 1997 is charged with six counts, including Genocide, complicity in genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide.

He also faces murder charges, extermination, formation, membership, leadership and association of criminal gangs whose purpose and existence was to do harm to people or their properties, according to the indictment.

The suspect had been handed a 19-year sentence in absentia by a Gacaca court in Gikondo, where  he allegedly committed the crimes during 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

“During Genocide, Kwitonda is said to have acted individually, or as a part of a joint criminal enterprise with some members of the ex-Far, Interahamwe leaders, interim government authorities that executed the genocide and other known or unknown to prepare, train, equip and organize militias under his supervision in former Gikondo Commune, then Kigali Prefecture,” a statement by Interpol partly reads.

During the Genocide, Kwitonda who was then 20, headed the Gikondo youth wing of  MRND, the ruling of former President Juvénal Habyarimana which planned and executed the genocide.

A number of witnesses in the area had testified on how he championed the extermination of Tutsis in 1994.
He had been a well established businessman in Lyantonde trading centre, importing goods from Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan.

During his time in Uganda, Kwitonda married a Rwandan woman with whom they had four children.

“I officially hand over Kwitonda Jean Pierre alias Kapalata as per the table request by Rwanda,” Tumwesigye said handing the fugitive and his case file to Kulamba.

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