France examines Kamali’s extradition request

Before rendering its decision on 6 February 2007, the prosecution this week asked the Court of Appeal of Paris to have the Rwandan government specify the charges against Isaac Kamali, a French citizen, wanted by Kigali for his alleged participation in the 1994 Genocide.

Before rendering its decision on 6 February 2007, the prosecution this week asked the Court of Appeal of Paris to have the Rwandan government specify the charges against Isaac Kamali, a French citizen, wanted by Kigali for his alleged participation in the 1994 Genocide.

Naturalized French in 2002, Kamali was arrested in France on 22 June, after being sent back from the United States, under the terms of an international arrest warrant issued by Rwanda in October 2004.

Rwanda requests his extradition for two reasons. The first relates to his alleged participation in the genocide in the prefecture of Gitarama. The second is, so he serves a sentence of life in prison for which he was sentenced by a Rwandan court in March 2003. He had initially been sentenced to death, but since capital punishment has been abolished in Rwanda.

“The extradition request does not correspond to the usual criteria of a state that wishes to cooperate with other states”, underlined the representative of the prosecution, Jean-Charles Lecompte. According to him, Rwanda, which “wishes to integrate the geographical surface of democratic societies”, must “give a certain number of precise details that are missing”.

Jean-Marie Biju-Duval, lawyer for Kamali, asked the court not to grant this request by the prosecutor and to reject the extradition request which “comes from a country which does have law “. The death penalty was commuted to life imprisonment, he said. “There is a great risk that he be subjected to torture”, he assured by asking “France not to be the instrument of a criminal regime”.
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