Spanish arrest warrant for Rwandan spy chief remains valid: source
A Spanish arrest warrant for Rwanda's intelligence chief remains valid despite a decision by British court to drop an extradition case against him, a judicial source said Saturday.
Spain is seeking the arrest of General Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, a key figure in the regime of President Paul Kagame, on terrorism charges related to alleged crimes during the 1994 Rwanda conflict, the source said.
Karake was held in London in June on a European arrest warrant issued by Spain in 2008, but the case was dismissed on August 10 following a hearing at London’s Westminster Magistrates Court, leaving him free to return home.
“We have not been informed of the British decision and the warrant remains in place,” the source at the prosecutors’ office at the special court in Madrid for terrorism crimes told AFP.
Karake was one of the main commanders of the armed wing of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the Tutsi rebel group that ended the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and has held power ever since.
At least 800,000 mostly Tutsi people died in the genocide. In 2008-09, he was deputy commander of the United Nations-African Union Mission (UNAMID) in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.
It was at this time that a Spanish judge issued an arrest warrant against him, causing tensions between Rwanda and the United Nations and his premature departure from the peacekeeping force.
The Spanish investigation covered allegations of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and terrorism in Rwanda in the 1990s.
It later shelved the first three sets of charges, leaving the case to focus on “crimes of terrorism” in the case of the nine Spaniards killed in Rwanda.