Rwandans arrested in Britain over 1994 genocide

30th May 2013, Comments 0 comments

British police on Thursday arrested five men wanted in Rwanda over the 1994 genocide following an extradition request from Rwandan prosecutors.

The men appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court later Thursday under an extradition warrant alleging offences including genocide and murder, according to a Metropolitan Police statement.

The alleged crimes took place between January 1993 and July 1994, police added.

Police named the suspects as Emmanuel Ntezirayo, 51, Charles Munyaneza, 55, Celestine Ugirashebuja, 60, Vincent Bajinya, 52, and Celestine Mutabaruka, 57.

Four of the men won a British court battle in 2009 blocking an extradition as judges feared there was "a real risk" they would not get a fair trial in their home country.

Rwanda's chief prosecutor Martin Ngoga said all the suspects had a "case to answer" and that his country had made "significant progress" in laying the ground for fair trials, in a statement issued Thursday.

Three of the suspects were mayors of Rwandan communes and are accused of playing a major role in the genocide which claimed the lives of an estimated 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis.

The men will next appear in court on June 5.

© 2013 AFP

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