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Evidence ‘proves’ priest guilty of genocide

Published on 30/01/2006

30 January 2006

BRUSSELS — Rwandan President Paul Kagame has said he has “information and pieces of evidence” that “appear to prove” Belgian priest Guy Theunis was involved in the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Theunis was transferred to Belgium last year after spending two months in jail in Rwanda after he was accused of being an accomplice to the 1994 mass killings.
“I am no judge. But the information and pieces of evidence that I have been able to look at appear to prove his guilt,” Kagame told newspaper ‘Jeune Afrique/L’intelligent’.

White Friar Theunis, 60, lived in Rwanda from 1970 to 1994. He was arrested on 6 September 2005 at the international airport of Kigali when he was traveling to Belgium.

He was subsequently the first foreigner to be brought before a Rwandan village court, or ‘gacaca’, set up to investigate the genocide that killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.

Theunis denies the charges that he was guilty of inciting genocide through republishing articles from the extremist publication ‘Kangura’ in his ‘Dialogue’ magazine, of which he was editor-in-chief from 1989-94.

He says he personally wrote articles to press for human rights and that the translated Kangura articles only ever appeared as part of a press review.

Due to negotiations waged on his behalf by the Belgian Foreign Ministry, Theunis was handed over to Belgian authorities last November. Investigations have since been launched in Belgium.

“The Belgian authorities have assured us that the case will be taken seriously. Let us at least give them the benefit of the doubt,” Kagame said.

A Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said given the fact an investigation was being conducted into Theunis’ actions, the ministry was not prepared to comment on the matter.

Belgium had requested the Rwandan authorities to hand over Theunis to Belgian justice officials so that the investigation could be conducted in Belgium.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news