Last week’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, to transfer a Genocide suspect to Rwanda, should serve as an example to countries which are still reluctant to take similar decisions on fugitives living within their own jurisdictions.
The European court threw out an appeal by Sylivere Ahorugeze, upholding an earlier decision by a Swedish court which had ruled that Rwandan justice system fulfilled all the requisite standards to ensure fair trial.
If the principle of precedence is anything to go by, then this pronouncement should serve as basis for other jurisdictions, particularly in Europe, to extradite Genocide fugitives, some of whom are freely roaming their capitals.
The ruling, also, should be a wake-up call to western advocacy groups that continue to fight the referral to Rwanda of Genocide cases, whether they concern convicts at the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) or in other jurisdictions, to abandon their ill-informed cause, and help purse justice.
That the European court’s decision follows an earlier ruling by the ICTR to transfer to Rwanda a suspect held in the Tanzania-based court’s custody is a demonstration that those groups that have opposed extradition of Genocide suspects to Rwanda, simply have no point.