Senior military official among four held for Rwandan ex-spy chief’s murder

2014-01-16 08:44

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Maputo – Four Rwandans, including a senior military official, are being held in Mozambique in connection with the murder of a former Rwandan spymaster and await extradition to South Africa.

The Rwandans were detained a week ago, said Mozambique police spokesperson Joao Machava yesterday.

The body of Colonel Patrick Karegeya, the exiled former head of Rwandan intelligence, was found in a plush Johannesburg hotel on January 1.

Machava gave no details about where the four suspects had been detained, but it is believed that the Mozambican police were acting on a tip-off from their South African counterparts.

One of the suspects is Lieutenant Colonel Francis Gakwerere, a senior official in the Rwandan armed forces, Machava said. Gakwerere’s name was on a list of seven people claimed in a blog run by Rwandan dissidents to belong to a hit squad sent to South Africa to eliminate Karegeya.

Karegeya is suspected by police to have been strangled. A bloodied towel and curtain cord were found in a safe in the hotel room. Opponents of the Rwandan government say he was murdered at the behest of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Earlier this week Kagame said it was a matter of time before those who had betrayed Rwanda faced the consequences.

Karegeya was once an ally of Kagame, and they fought together in the Rwanda Patriotic Front. He headed the feared external intelligence agency from 1994, when Kagame’s rebel movement took power and ended the Rwandan genocide, until 2004. Karegeya was then arrested, and served an 18-month sentence for alleged desertion and insubordination. He had been living in exile in South Africa since 2007.

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