“The Rwandan Embassy contacted police around 11:00am to inform us that they had a man in the area who was wanted for genocide and violation of international law from 1994,” said police spokesperson Mats Eriksson.
The 52-year-old man is on Rwanda’s list of the the 100 most wanted war criminals from the that country’s 1994 genocide. He was employed by Rwanda’s air traffic authority and is accused of having killed 25 Tutsis near the capital Kigali.
After the genocide the man came to Denmark as a refugee and was granted a Danish alien passport.
By 4:00pm the man had been arrested and is now being held by police.
“Within the next few days this will be heard by the district court, where they will decide whether to affirm my detention order,” said public prosecutor Lars Hedvall to the TT news agency.
The man was at the Rwandan embassy together with his wife to renew identification documents, according to Eriksson.
Ahead of the district court proceedings the man will be assigned a Swedish defence lawyer and the prosecutor will collect information from Denmark, Rwanda, and Interpol in France.
If the district court upholds the detention order, the case will be sent to the Ministry of Justice. And if Rwanda hasn’t already sent an official extradition request, the Justice Ministry will send a request asking Rwanda to do so.
When the request is received an investigation will be carried out and the man can, in that case, be remanded to custody.
“After that Sweden will ultimately decide whether they are going to extradite this person or not,” said Hedvall.
The man has been investigated by Danish authorities in 2006 and spent eleven months in custody.
At trial he was acquitted due to a lack of evidence and was later awarded one million kronor ($167,000) in compensatory damages by the Danish state.
According to the prosecutor Hedvall, there is a extradition process already underway in Denmark, which is working to have the man extradited to Rwanda.
“There are apparently new circumstances now that have arisen and made him a wanted man again,” Eriksson told AFP.