Canada extradites second genocide fugitive to Rwanda

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The Canadian government has deported to Rwanda Henri Jean-Claude Seyoboka, a suspect of the 1994 genocide that killed close to 1 million Rwandans.

Seyoboka, who has been living in Canada since 1996, arrived at Kigali International Airport on Friday morning from Canada. The deportation ends his 20-year run from justice.

The 50-year-old is the second genocide suspect deported by Canada, following Leon Mugesera in 2012.

Seyoboka is accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, murder and extermination that took place in Nyarugenge in the capital Kigali, where he participated in meetings that planned the 1994 genocide, according to Rwanda National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA).

Speaking to reporters shortly after the arrival of the suspect, NPPA spokesperson Faustin Nkusi hailed the Canadian government’s cooperation.

“We are grateful for the effort put in by several countries across the world towards fighting impunity and seeking justice to Rwanda genocide victims and survivors,” he said.

NPPA says that in 2007, gacaca courts had tried Seyoboka case and handed him a 19-year jail sentence for genocide crimes.

Gacaca courts are homegrown courts that has tried over 2 million cases related to crimes committed during the 1994 genocide.

During the 1994 genocide, Seyoboka was a second lieutenant in the genocidal army (Ex-FAR). He fled the country in 1994.

In January 1995, Seyoboka travelled to Toronto and claimed refugee status but never disclosed his involvement in the Rwandan military in the refugee application process, which violated Canadian laws.

His legal trouble began in 1998 following his International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) interview,when his military past was disclosed to Canadian Citizenship and Immigration officials.

In early 2010, a Canadian Court denied him asylum for the sixth time due to existing evidence implicating him for participating in the 1994 Genocide.

Seyoboka has fought extradition for many years on the grounds that he could face torture back in Rwanda, but the Canadian officials dismissed his claims.

Seyoboka is the son-in-law of Col. Elie Sagatwa, one of the leading masterminds of the genocide, and brother of the wife of ex-genocidal president Juvenal Habyarimana.

In 2012, Canada deported Leon Mugesera to Rwanda. He was found guilty of crimes related to the 1994 genocide and sentenced to life in prison.

Last weekend, the Dutch government deported two genocide suspects Jean-Claude Iyamuremye and Jean-Baptiste Mugimba to Rwanda.

Currently, 12 people accused of committing genocide have been extradited from Uganda, DR Congo, Canada, United States, Netherlands and ICTR to stand trial in Rwanda.

Source : Xinhua

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