Sun Dec 04 14:19:03 SAST 2016

Canada extradites genocide suspect to Rwanda

AFP | 2016-11-18 12:34:03.0
A Rwandan caretaker examines a display of human skulls on June 16, 2002, the remains of some of 5,000 ethnic Tutsis massacred in the Ntarama Church compound in April 1994, during Rwanda's genocide. File photo
Image by: Antony Njuguna / Reuters

An ex-army officer arrived in Rwanda on Friday after being extradited from Canada on accusations he took part in the African nation's 1994 genocide that left some 800,000 people dead, authorities said.

"Jean Claude Seyoboka arrived... between midnight and 1 am. He was deported from Canada and he will be facing trial for genocide", Jean-Bosco Mutangana, a Rwandan prosecutor, told AFP.

Seyoboka, who was a second lieutenant in the Rwandan military, is accused of participating in the "extermination" of more than 72 Tutsis in Kigali and attending meetings where massacres were allegedly planned.

The roughly four-month spate of killing -- in which 800,000 mostly Tutsi people were slain -- was triggered by the shooting down of the plane of then president Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, in April 1994.

Seyoboka arrived in Canada in 1995, where he was granted refugee status a year later.

However, his status was revoked about a decade later after testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda linked him to the killing of a woman and two children during the massacre.

Rwandan authorities issued a warrant for Seyoboka's arrest this year, but he fought extradition by claiming he would be tortured or killed if returned to Rwanda.

He is the second genocide suspect to be extradited from Canada after former politician Leon Mugesera was sent back to Rwanda in 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison in April for inciting the 1994 slaughter.

The Dutch national prosecutor said last week that two Rwandans living in the Netherlands would be extradited to their homeland.

Rwanda had demanded the extraditions of Jean-Claude Iyamuremye and Jean-Baptiste Mugimba in 2012 and 2013 respectively to face trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

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