Rwandan 'can't be tried in Denmark'

2011-10-26 20:52
Copenhagen - A Copenhagen appeals court ruled Monday that Denmark's law on genocide cannot be used to prosecute a Rwandan man charged with killing Tutsis during the 1994 genocide and dismissed his case.

"The wording of the [1955] law does not provide a basis to assume that the intention was to give the law extraterritorial jurisdiction," a statement from the Eastern High Court of Appeal said.

The court also pointed out that the United Nations' convention on genocide does not oblige countries to prosecute genocide carried out outside their national territories.

"This case against the accused is therefore dismissed," the court said, adding though that "the accused is still on remand based on the subsidiary charge" of murder.

The ruling was in line with a general lower court ruling in June stating that non-Danes could not be tried in Denmark for genocide committed abroad.

Nonetheless, a Danish prosecutor last month charged the 49-year-old Rwandan man, a former headmaster, with genocide.

He is accused of killing an unknown number of people after throwing grenades into a crowd of desperate refugees as they tried to flee Kabuye Hill, where up to 20 000 Tutsis were murdered after being sent to the area by government troops.

The accused, whose name was not given, had also been responsible for two road blocks, and the prosecutor insisted at the initial hearing that "many Tutsis were killed here on the orders of the accused."

While dropping the genocide charges, the court ruled that the accused should remain in custody on charges of murder.

It remained unclear when his murder trial would be held.

The suspect arrived in Denmark in 2001 and lived in Roskilde, 30km from Copenhagen, the prosecutor said when the man was remanded in custody in December 2010.

He was handed a life sentence in absentia in Rwanda in 2008, according to the Ritzau news agency.

An estimated 800 000 people, for the most part minority Tutsis, were killed in the 1994 bloodletting by extremist Hutus.

Read more on:    denmark  |  rwanda  |  east africa  |  1994 rwandan genocide

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.


10 facts about swimming you didn't know

This will make you want to jump right into the pool.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Inspiring: Rock climbing with just one leg
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.