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Sweden to extradite genocide suspect

AFP/The Local · 9 Jul 2009, 12:27

Published: 09 Jul 2009 12:27 GMT+02:00

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Sylvere Ahorugeze, a 53-year-old former director of Rwanda's civil aviation authority, will be extradited within three weeks of Rwandan prosecutors formally receiving the Swedish decision, the government said in its decision.

"The government has today decided to extradite to Rwanda a Rwandan citizen suspected of genocide in 1994," Justice Minister Beatrice Ask said.

"Sweden is the first country in Europe to extradite a suspected genocide criminal to Rwanda. This has not been an easy decision," she said.

Sweden's Supreme Court ruled on May 27 that Ahorugeze could return home to stand trial, saying there was nothing in Swedish or European law that prevents someone suspected of genocide from being extradited.

Ahorugeze, who has been a refugee in Denmark since 2001, was arrested in July 2008 after he was recognized at the Rwandan embassy in neighbouring Sweden.

The Rwandan government demanded his extradition a month later.

He has been held in custody since July 16, 2008.

Ahorugeze is suspected of having been one of the leaders of the Hutu extremists involved in the genocide.

He is also believed to have murdered 28 Tutsis in a suburb of the Rwandan capital Kigali on April 7, 1994.

Hutu extremists killed some 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis but also some moderate Hutus, during the 100-day genocide.

Hutu extremists killed some 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis but also

some moderate Hutus, during the 100-day genocide.

Many nations, including Switzerland just one week ago, have been reluctant to extradite genocide suspects to Rwanda, citing concerns over the central African nation's rights record and the independence of its judiciary.

Kigali hailed Sweden's move as vindicating the progress made by its judiciary.

Story continues below…

"This decision is a positive development.... It is proof that Rwanda now fulfills all the conditions for genocide suspects to be transferred," Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama told AFP.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have called on countries not to extradite genocide suspects to Rwanda over fears they will not get a fair trial there.

However, Ask said the Rwandan justice system had made strides in recent years "and as recently as May 2009 new legislation has been adopted that mproves the legal system further."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:24 July 9, 2009 by Nemesis
Anyone who took part in that episode, should be immediately extradited and sent for trial.

Most european countries are hesitant due to so many priests and nuns being invovled in the genocide.

All involved should be extradited, without exception.

there is no excuse for genocide or hiding those who commit genocide.
21:05 July 9, 2009 by Uncle
Learning just A LITTLE BIT about Rwandan conflict brings one to the well hidden fact that in their revenge Tutsis managed to kill more Hutus when they started winning the war. Not only this, they chased the escaping Hutus into Congo and continued to kill Hutus, while adding thousands of Congolese to the body count. They stopped butchering the population of Congo and Hutu refugees only when the united forces of several african armies started to kick them out. BTW, the Sudanese gov't that killed 2 mils in Darfur, assisted the little, pretty Tutsis. So before responding to the requests of the Rwandan president, I would look into his CV first.
21:55 July 9, 2009 by local news
Please Uncle, you missed a point. When you commit a crime, you should be held accountable. If Ahorugeze killed people he did it on his own and he should held accountable and close to scene of the crime. Dont generalise issues Ahorugeze'charges are his only and not for all Hutus. We are talking about the genocide in Rwanda of 1994.
12:21 July 10, 2009 by Mikael Ekman
Funny how none of the previous comments (except possible Uncle in a roundabout way) actually touches on the issue at hand. No one questions handing out someone guilty of genocide. The problem is that Rwanda will not necessarily distinguish between suspected of genocide (such as Mr. Ahorugeze) and guilty of genocide. The presumption of innocence and the right to be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal are absolute. It is NOT acceptable to give them one guy to do with as they will just to see if it works. Everyone has the same human rights and we can't gamble one persons life just to find out afterwards if the Rwandan judges were fair or not.
05:03 July 12, 2009 by dan_sparrow

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