Kagame slams 'stupid' arrest warrants

2011-09-02 16:31

Kigali - Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Friday in a radio broadcast lashed out at the "stupid" arrest warrants issued by a Spanish judge for several of his top military officials.

"It is a political indictment. They cannot sustain it before a court of law," Kagame said, criticising what he said were the double standards of countries that think they can lecture Rwanda whilst issuing politically-motivated arrest warrants.

"This is happening in countries that every day give us lectures about everything, including about justice and law."

"When our government officials want to travel some of these countries, these so-called partners cannot issue a visa and prefer to give credence to those stupid cases," he added.

He was referring to the arrest warrants issued by a senior Spanish judge in February 2008 against 40 Rwandan army officers, including 11 generals, for genocide and crimes against humanity related to events that took place between 1994 and 2000, including under the current President Paul Kagame.

Spain's legal system has universal jurisdiction for genocide and crimes against humanity. The Spanish investigation started out with a probe into the death of nine Spaniards who had allegedly witnessed massacres in Rwanda.

Kagame said that some of the officers targeted by the warrants want to appear before a Spanish court in order to clear their names, and accused the officials who issued the warrants of refusing to allow them to appear whilst maintaining the charges against them.

"Keeping their indictment is a way of inconveniencing you forever," he said.

"We cannot have the law of the jungle at the international level."