Mugesera will get fair trial–MPs

Members of Parliament have said that the deportation of key Genocide suspect, Leon Mugesera, proves that the West trusts the country’s justice system and that the suspect will be accorded a fair trial like others.
L-R:Senate President Jean Damascene  Ntawukuliryayo,MP Julienne Uwacu,MP Francois Byabarumwanzi.
L-R:Senate President Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo,MP Julienne Uwacu,MP Francois Byabarumwanzi.

Members of Parliament have said that the deportation of key Genocide suspect, Leon Mugesera, proves that the West trusts the country’s justice system and that the suspect will be accorded a fair trial like others.

Mugesera, a linguist who has lived in Canada since 1993, is accused of inciting the Genocide against the Tutsi in a speech he delivered two years before the Genocide.

“I wasn’t in Rwanda in 1992 when Mugesera made the genocide speech that led to the massacre, but I have listened to the speech. It is a great move to see that after all these years, he is brought back to the place he committed the crime,” remarked Senate president, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo.

He lauded those behind the deportation in both Rwanda and Canada.

Mugesera, 59, was due to be deported last week, when his lawyers made a last-ditch effort to keep him in the country by appealing to the Committee against Torture in the UN Human Rights Commission.

The UN committee then requested that Canada hold off on making a decision until it could examine the allegations, a process that would likely have taken several months.

A Quebec Superior Court judge Monday ruled that the plea by the United Nations Committee against Torture, to stay deportation on grounds that he would be tortured, was beyond the jurisdiction of the provincial court.

According to Ntawukuriryayo, Rwandans have a reason to be glad about the deportation of an alleged instigator of the genocide.

The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and fight against Genocide, François Byabarumwanzi, said that he was waiting for the ‘big news’.

“I was sure Canada would eventually deport him. The rest was just a matter of buying time. Mugesera is one of the suspects we could categorise as architects of the Genocide ideology in this country,” said Byabarumwanzi.

In a 1992 speech, Mugesera called the Tutsi “cockroaches” and “scum,” as he encouraged the Hutus to kill them and dump them into River Nyabarongo – a tributary of the Nile – supposedly as a shortcut to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), where he said they originated from.

“He now has a chance to prove his innocence. I am convinced the courts will accord him a fair trial,” stated Byabarumwanzi.

Mugesera was the vice chairman of the MRND party that plunged Rwanda into the Genocide that claimed over a million lives. He fled to Canada to avoid prosecution, and has ever since waged a 16-year legal battle to avoid deportation.

According to the vice chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, Julienne Uwacu, the Canadian move to deport Mugesera is a lesson to all countries that have had doubts about the Rwandan justice system. 

“Some countries in the West always claim they don’t trust our justice system, but if a country like Canada takes such a move, then it should be a lesson to other countries that Rwanda has a well-established professional justice system,” Uwacu affirmed.

edwin.musoni@newtimes.co.rw

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