A Rwandan man living in Denmark may now be extradited back to Rwanda to face charges relating to his role in that country's 1994 genocide, which claimed approximately 800,000 lives.
The man has lived in Denmark for the past 12 years. In 2008, he was charged and convicted in absentia in Rwanda on genocide charges. Two years later, he was arrested by Danish police in connection with the charges, setting off a long period of legal wrangling between the Danish and Rwandan authorities.
In 2011, both Roskilde City Court and the Eastern High Court ruled that prosecutors could not charge the man with genocide, but only with murder. In April of this year, the Supreme Court overruled those previous decisions, declaring that the man could be tried on genocide charges in the Danish court system.
The Rwandan authorities repeatedly criticised Denmark’s handling of the case and officially demanded the extradition of the former headteacher, who has denied all the charges. In June, the Justice Ministry agreed with the Rwandan request and ruled that the man could be extradited. That decision cleared the way for the last round of legal battles that began yesterday.
On Monday, the Roskilde court ruled that the man should now be extradited, despite his lawyer's argument that the 50-year-old would be killed if he was delivered back to his homeland. The city court's decision is expected to be appealed and work its way back to the Supreme Court and possibly even to the European Court of Human Rights.
The Rwandan is accused of killing “many Tutsis” in April and May of 1994 at road blocks and also of killing a large group of Tutsis at Kabuye Hill in April 1994.
The Tutsis had been told they would find shelter at the hill, but instead were attacked.