The Swedish judiciary yesterday made a landmark ruling giving a green light for the extradition to Rwanda of Sylvere Ahorugeze, one of the scores of the 1994 Genocide masterminds to stand trial in Rwanda.
The ruling contradicts another one delivered by neighbouring Denmark on the same fugitive, which had, instead of extraditing or at least letting him stand trial, released him, going further to award damages.
Despite the fact that it is yet a done deal, owing to the fact that Rwanda does not have an extradition treaty, Ahorugeze’s extradition would require a political blessing.
However, this is commendable so far because, it is progressive and a far cry to what has been observed in other European judiciaries, which opted to rule based on decisions rendered by other countries.
Several judicial systems, especially European ones have previously refused to extradite fugitives to Rwanda for trial on basis of a ruling by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, (ICTR), which for reasons that can only be explained by the judges of this court, ruled that the Rwandan judicial system was not ‘good’ enough to try the suspects.
The Swedish Bench, regardless of the past verdicts in similar circumstances, ruled that the there were no legal obstacles to bar the extradition process of Ahurugeze so that he faces justice where the Genocide was committed.
It is now up to the politicians to make yet another independent decision, of course based on facts on the ground, since the Rwandan government has always readily provided what has been required of them to facilitate the extradition of these fugitives.
Other European countries that for unknown reasons, decided to remain hiding dens for the rest of the wanted fugitives should take heed from Sweden and put an end to this enigma that that has haunted Rwandans for the last 15 years.
The government of Rwanda has done all it takes, including a soon-to-be promulgated special legislation under which the extradited genocide fugitives will be tried.