Norway paves way for Genocide fugitive’s extradition

The Supreme Court in Oslo, Norway, has rejected an appeal by Genocide suspect, Charles Bandora, upholding an earlier ruling that he be sent to Rwanda to face charges in connection with his suspected role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The development was confirmed yesterday by the National Public Prosecution Authority, in a statement released by its spokesperson, Alain Mukurarinda. 
Bernadette Kanzayire.
Bernadette Kanzayire.

The Supreme Court in Oslo, Norway, has rejected an appeal by Genocide suspect, Charles Bandora, upholding an earlier ruling that he be sent to Rwanda to face charges in connection with his suspected role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The development was confirmed yesterday by the National Public Prosecution Authority, in a statement released by its spokesperson, Alain Mukurarinda. 

The Oslo City Court ruled to extradite him in July this year.

Bandora was a businessman and influential member of the former ruling party, MRND.

He is accused of having financed the training and arming of Interahamwe militia in Bugesera, Eastern Province.

“He is also charged with the killing of 400 Tutsis who had sought refuge at Ruhuha church between April 7 and 13, 1994,” reads the statement.

According to prosecution, Bandora is also accused of killing one, Ezekiel Mugenzi, and looting his property as well as another victim identified as Gratien Murangira.

Speaking to The New Times, Bernadette Kanzayire, a Genocide survivor from Bugesera, and currently a deputy Ombudsman, welcomed the ruling.

“Survivors whose families were killed following Bandora’s directive and actions, can now testify against him in Rwanda while others will be able to see the man who killed their families face justice,” Kanzayire said.

Kanzayire, a vocal human rights activist during the Genocide, added that Bandora’s trial is likely to unearth the actual happenings in Bugesera during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Commenting on the move, Dr. Deogene Bideri from the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, said that the decision shows that the Rwandan justice system is globally trusted.

“We believe that many more cases will be referred to Rwanda in the future,” Bideri said.

Bandora was arrested on June 8 last year as he tried to enter Oslo Airport on a fake identity, posing as Frank Kamwana, a Malawian national.

In the statement, prosecution said that there is no other level of appeal left in the Norwegian court system.

However, legal minds say that there still remains a window, for the suspect, saying he could appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Sylvère Ahorugeze, another Genocide suspect early this year filed a complaint before the ECHR to dispute Sweden’s decision to extradite him to Rwanda claiming that he would not be granted a fair trial.

The European court, however, earlier this month rejected his plea and ruled that Rwandan courts were capable of conducting a fair trial. 

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