French court postpones extradition decision for Rwandan

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A French court on Tuesday postponed until October its decision on a request by Rwanda to extradite a Rwandan doctor accused of taking part in the genocide of 1994.

The president of the appeals court in Bordeaux said that this was "the second and last postponement and the affair will in any case be examined in depth" from October 7.

On June 3, the court already put off the case while waiting for details of the charges against Doctor Sosthene Munyemana, who has been working for eight years in a hospital at Villeneuve-sur-Lot in southwest France.

The court found that Rwanda had only sent an arrest warrant and extradition request without giving any details of the charges against Munyemana. On June 3, the counsel for the prosecution asked for a delay until October to allow time for more details to be provided.

Munyemana's lawyer, Florence Bourg, stated that Rwandan authorities had already had four months to comply and declared that Munyemana "could not benefit from a fair trial" in Rwanda. This argument has worked in front of several French appeal courts, which have refused to extradite suspects.

Munyemana, 45, comes from the Butare region in southern Rwanda and has been under judicial surveillance in France since 1995. His file was transferred from Bordeaux to Paris in 2001.

More than 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis, were massacred by Hutu soldiers and extremist militias in the Rwandan genocide from April to July 1994, according to UN figures.

© 2010 AFP

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