Denmark extradites Genocide suspect

Eight months after the top Danish court ordered the extradition of Genocide suspect Emmanuel Mbarushimana to Rwanda, authorities in the Nordic country effected the decision yesterday.
Mbarushimana shortly after arriving at Kigali International Airport last evening.  Sam Ndagijimana.
Mbarushimana shortly after arriving at Kigali International Airport last evening. Sam Ndagijimana.

Eight months after the top Danish court ordered the extradition of Genocide suspect Emmanuel Mbarushimana to Rwanda, authorities in the Nordic country effected the decision yesterday.

The 50-year old emerged from a RwandAir plane at Kigali International Airport at around 19:30p.m.

 

He was escorted by three Danish officials who handed him over shortly after carrying out extradition formalities with Rwanda National Police (RNP) officers at the tarmac.

 

He faces charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, murder and extermination, crimes allegedly committed in the former Muganza commune (district) in the then Butare prefecture.

 

Prosecutor General Richard Muhumuza commended the Danish government for the extradition.

“Genocide is a crime committed against mankind. All nations should therefore make sure that perpetrators of this crime do not elude justice.

“We also take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to seeking extraditions of other Genocide fugitives from wherever they may be and, where this is not possible, to seeking prosecution by the host countries,” he said.

Upon arrival, Mbarushimana, who wore a black suit and white shirt, looked composed.

But he appeared hesitant to cooperate when a police officer moved to handcuff him.

After the formalities at the airport during which he also heard the charges he faces and his rights, including the right to a lawyer, he was led into a waiting Police car and off Kigali ‘1930’ prison.

Mbarushimana is alleged to have organised and participated in the killings of the Tutsi in Kabuye, Dahwe, Gisagara, Ndora, Twarubona and nearby areas, in the current Gisagara District in the Southern Province, in 1994.

At the time, he was an inspector of schools in Muganza.

The former school teacher has lived in Denmark with his wife and four children for about 13 years. Rwanda filed the extradition request back in February 2012. Mbarushimana later failed in his bid to challenge the extradition efforts in courts.

The suspect exhausted all possible judicial avenues to avoid extradition in vain.

In November 2013, the Danish Supreme Court ruled that he must be extradited to Rwanda to stand trial.

And, in January 2014, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the decision by the Danish Court to extradite him to Rwanda, rejecting claims that the suspect would not receive fair hearing in his home country.

He becomes the second Genocide suspect to be extradited to Rwanda from Scandinavian countries after Charles Bandora, who was transferred from Norway.

Sentenced to life in absentia in Rwanda, in 2008, Mbarushimana allegedly led Interahamwe militiamen to attack the Tutsi in April 1994.

He had been granted asylum under the false name of Emmanuel Kunda, and had lived in Denmark since 2001.

Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, the head of the Genocide survivors’ umbrella Ibuka, welcomed the move saying it came at an important moment – when Rwandans are marking the 20th anniversary of the Liberation Struggle, which put an end to the Genocide against the Tutsi. “It’s also a good example to other countries that continue to harbour (Genocide) fugitives.”

Evode Kalima, a Genocide survivor and former parliamentarian, said the extradition was a demonstration of international community’s growing confidence in Rwanda’s judicial system.

“Countries such as France that host a large number of Genocide masterminds should also choose to stand for justice and shun impunity,” he said.

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