Rwandan man loses extradition appeal

2013-03-22 20:20
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Copenhagen - A Rwandan man, who faces charges of genocide allegedly carried out during the country's 1994 massacre, lost his appeal on Friday against extradition from Denmark.

The Copenhagen court of appeal upheld a lower court's November ruling that found a justice ministry decision to extradite the man was legal.

The 50-year-old school teacher, whose name was not released but is referred to in court documents as "A", failed to prove that he would not receive a fair trial in Rwanda, the court said in a statement.

"The extradition of A would not represent an infringement of the minimum standard outlined by the European Convention on Human Rights," the court added.

The suspect, a Hutu who claims he is innocent, has lived in Denmark for the past 12 years and has a wife and four children in the Scandinavian country.

In 2008, Rwandan authorities asked Copenhagen to either extradite the man or prosecute him in Denmark.

Danish authorities decided to prosecute him, but discovered they could not press charges for genocide under Danish law.

Instead they indicted him for murder.

The Danish law has since changed to allow acts of genocide committed abroad to be prosecuted in Denmark, but the law cannot be applied retroactively.

In February 2012, Rwandan authorities demanded the man's extradition.

According to the Danish murder indictment, the man gave orders to kill hundreds of ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide.

He has fought both the extradition request from Rwanda and the Danish indictment.

The Danish murder case has been postponed until June 2013, pending the outcome of the extradition case.

Since the man is now expected to be extradited, that case will likely not go ahead but it will ultimately be up to the prosecution to decide.

While the suspect is not normally allowed to appeal Friday's ruling, he can seek special permission to take his case to the Supreme Court.

Approximately 800 000 Tutsis were killed in the Rwanda genocide.

Read more on:    denmark  |  rwanda  |  genocide  |  central africa
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