‘Genocide priest’ Guy Theunis arrives home
21 November 2005
BRUSSELS — Belgian genocide suspect Father Guy Theunis arrived at Zaventem Airport in Brussels on Sunday to await trial for his alleged role in the Rwanda mass-killings in the 1990s.
The Belgian priest had been held in a Rwandan cell since the start of September on charges he helped incite the 1994 mass murder of 800,000 people.
Theunis is accused of masterminding killings at a Kigali church and reprinting articles from an extremist publication in a review he published that incited Hutus to kill Tutsis.
He was interviewed by police upon arrival in Brussels at 7am on Sunday, but was later released to meet family and colleagues.
Theunis had been put on a SN Brussels plane at Kigali airport at 8.10pm on Saturday (Belgian time). He was reportedly not accompanied by police.
“A public prosecutor will now decide whether or not he should remain in preventive detention and whether or not there is a case to launch a formal inquiry,” Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said.
However, Human Rights Watch has denied Rwanda has evidence to support the charges against Theunis, who was a member of the White Fathers Catholic order from 1970 until 1994. He is the first European arrested by Rwandan authorities for genocide.
Members of the Roman Catholic Church have long been accused of playing a significant role in the 1994 genocide and aiding extremist Hutu militias.
Several Rwandan priests and nuns have been convicted of participating in the genocide, including two who were convicted by a Brussels court in 2001, Reuters reported.
The Rwandan High Court decided on 9 November to allow Theunis to face trial in Belgium.
He denies any involvement in the genocide.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news