Holland to close-in on Genocide fugitives

A Dutch prosecutor, who is in the country to investigate Genocide fugitives holed up in her country, has told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that Genocide fugitives should never have a safe haven in the European country. Hester van Bruggen is quoted as saying: “People with blood on their hands shouldn’t feel they’re safe here.” Her remarks were welcomed by Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga. “That is a right principled statement. What remains and which is equally critical is how fast we move to do the right thing.”
Executive Secretary of Ibuka Janvier Forongo welcomed the move. The New Times / File.
Executive Secretary of Ibuka Janvier Forongo welcomed the move. The New Times / File.

A Dutch prosecutor, who is in the country to investigate Genocide fugitives holed up in her country, has told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that Genocide fugitives should never have a safe haven in the European country.

Hester van Bruggen is quoted as saying: “People with blood on their hands shouldn’t feel they’re safe here.” Her remarks were welcomed by Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga. “That is a right principled statement. What remains and which is equally critical is how fast we move to do the right thing.”

Ibuka, the umbrella of organisations of Genocide survivors, also appreciated the comments from the Dutch prosecutor.

Janvier Forongo, the Executive Secretary of Ibuka said: “We think this is the message everyone should be sending, especially in those European countries that still accommodate Genocide perpetrators.”

According to Forongo, such statements should be backed by action, by arresting such suspects and making sure that they are brought to book to help end the culture of impunity.

“Europeans must know that protecting people’s rights does not necessarily mean not punishing such a serious crime as genocide, because most often you find that they [Europeans] use the excuse of human rights.”

“We all know that the whole world stood by as the Genocide took place; the least they can do is to help dispense justice” he added.

Meanwhile, van Bruggen is reportedly preparing a case against a Dutch-Rwandan national, Yvonne Basebya, on charges of Genocide, murder and rape.

The Dutch Prosecutor took up the case in 2006 and has often travelled to Rwanda for witnesses accounts.

Last year, van Bruggen and her legal team secured the conviction of Joseph Mpambara, who was sentenced to life in prison by a court in The Hague.

Despite his appeal, last July, a Dutch appeals court sentenced Mpambara to life after he was found guilty of torturing Tutsi mothers and their children death during the Genocide against the Tutsi.

The court also found him guilty of an extra crime of attacking a church where hundreds of Tutsi were butchered as they sought refuge.

james.karuhanga@newtimes.co.rw

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