Rwanda genocide accused can be extradited

A request to extradite four men accused of playing key roles in the Rwandan genocide has been upheld today.

Dr Vincent Bajinya, Charles Munyaneza, Celestin Ugirashebuja, and Emmanuel Nteziryayo, are wanted by the Rwandan government to face trial for their part in the slaughter of up to a million people in 1994.

All four men deny involvement and the case will now be referred to British home secretary Jacqui Smith.

Munyaneza, from Bedford, Ugirashebuja, from Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, and Nteziryayo, from Manchester, were allegedly local burgomasters (or mayors) of local communes in the country, accused of organising and leading the killing in their areas.

Bajinya, of Islington, north London, is accused of being a militia organiser in the capital Kigali.

Each of the men faces charges including genocide and crimes against humanity.

They were arrested in December 2006 after a special agreement between Britain and Rwanda. The Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries assures that the men will not face the death penalty if convicted.

Today’s decision was taken by a district judge sitting at City of Westminster Court in London.

Thousands of ethnic Tutsis were slaughtered during the 1994 genocide.

Violence erupted across Rwanda in April 1994 after the Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down and ethnic Tutsis were blamed.

As soon as his death was announced, killing squads began attacking Tutsis across the country in a slaughter which lasted until July of that year.

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