Rwanda celebrates spy chief release after 'political' arrest

11th August 2015, Comments 0 comments

Rwanda on Tuesday celebrated the release in Britain of its intelligence chief, claiming the "wrongful arrest" was a "political" tactic by those who deny the 1994 genocide.

A court in Britain on Monday dropped a controversial extradition case against General Karenzi Karake, leaving him free to return home.

Kigali offered its "profound gratitude" to those who secured his release, singling out for thanks Cherie Blair, wife of Britain's former prime minister Tony Blair, who led the legal challenge in London.

"Rwanda regards the discredited arrest warrant as just a tactic in a political campaign by those who deny the genocide of 1994," the government statement read.

Karake, a key figure in the regime of President Paul Kagame, was arrested in June in London on a European arrest warrant issued by Spain.

The indictment accuses Karake of ethnic killings of Hutus following the 1994 genocide, when at least 800,000 mostly Tutsi people were killed.

"For Rwanda, this indictment is not a trial of one of its leaders, still less a quest for justice: it twists Rwanda's recent tragic history and is an affront to a whole nation, its people and government," the statement added.

"Indeed, it is Rwanda's view that the indictment is a travesty of justice."

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service, which oversees prosecutions, said the case was dismissed because "the relevant laws on the conduct alleged in this case do not cover the acts of non-UK nationals or residents abroad."

Karake was one of the main commanders of the armed wing of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the Tutsi rebel group that ended the genocide.

© 2015 AFP

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