An Appeals Court in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on Tuesday upheld an earlier ruling by a lower court ordering the extradition to Rwanda of a Genocide suspect who was arrested in the Nordic country in 2010.
Charles Bandora was arrested as he attempted to enter Norway with a fake visa.
The Olso City Court on July 11 granted the extradition request filed by Rwanda so that the suspect could face charges in connection with his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
In its latest ruling, the Appeals Court stated that it saw no evidence to suggest that Bandora would not receive a fair trial in Rwanda.
Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, yesterday said that: “This is an extremely important decision that substantially re-emphasises the fact that we are gradually winning the confidence of European jurisdictions”.
He added this would make their task to pursue Genocide fugitives much easier.
The suspect’s lawyer, Harald Stabell, vowed to appeal the ruling at Norway’s Supreme Court, and if unsuccessful, at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, in France.
“The appeals process is expected and we understand the consequences that may result in the delays associated with it,” Ngoga said.
“We have no control over it, but we believe records being created in these rulings are much more important”.
It is the same European Human Rights Court’s that delayed ruling that led to the recent release, from Swedish custody, another Genocide suspect Sylvère Ahorugeze, 55, who had been awaiting extradition to Rwanda.
“The Rwandan justice system has all competence to put the suspects on trial and there isn’t even any concern about their security. The USA recently deported one suspect,” Said Jean Pierre Dusingizimana, head of the Genocide survivors’ umbrella organisation, Ibuka.
“The same applies to the ICTR. I believe we fulfill all the conditions to meet international standards required for trials. Those who do not want to recognise this are doing so out of bad will.”
Who is Bandora?
In 1994, Bandora was a businessman and an influent member of the then ruling MRND party which orchestrated the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Among his crimes listed on an Interpol red notice include crimes against humanity, genocide, genocide complicity, and organised crime.
Bandora allegedly used his wealth to finance the training and arming of Interahamwe militias in Bugesera, Eastern Province.
At the time, he was the president of MRND in the area. He is charged with the killing of 400 Tutsi who sought refuge at Ruhuha Church in April, 1994.
Born in 1953, in Mudasomwa, now in the Southern Province, Bandora was arrested mid last year while entering Oslo Airport under the false identity of Frank Kamwana, a Malawian national.
Meanwhile, in May, the Norwegian Police also arrested Sadi Bugingo, another fugitive linked to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Rwanda had sent an indictment and arrest warrant to Norway in January 2008, and Norwegian investigators and prosecutors travelled to Rwanda to gather information.