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Americas

Canada deports Rwandan genocide suspect Leon Mugesera

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Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-24

Two Canadian courts on Monday rejected an appeal for a stay of deportation from Leon Mugesera, accused of delivering a speech that helped incite the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which radical ethnic Hutus killed as many as 800,000 Tutsis.

AFP - Two Canadian courts on Monday rejected last-ditch appeals of a Rwandan man accused of helping incite the 1994 genocide in his homeland, moving him one step closer to possible deportation.

The Quebec Superior Court and Canada's Federal Court dismissed motions to stay the deportation of Leon Mugesera, who hoped it could wait until the United Nations Committee Against Torture probed a claim that he would face political persecution in Rwanda if he was sent back.

Mugesera made an infamous speech in 1992 that allegedly played a major role in sparking the 1994 genocide, in which radical ethnic Hutus killed as many as 800,000 Tutsis.

He was to have been deported two weeks ago, but last-minute appeals to the two courts and the UN Committee Against Torture earned him a reprieve until Monday.

Mugesera was taken into custody while his request for a six-month stay of deportation was considered. Mugesera wanted the extra time for United Nations officials to carry out their probe.

"As long as the order is not suspended (by a court), he still faces deportation," Mugesera's lawyer Martin Roy told reporters.

"I'm afraid that at this very moment he is being extradited," Roy said.

In the infamous speech, Mugesera allegedly called Tutsis "cockroaches" and "scum," and encouraged his fellow Hutus to kill them.

Mugesera fled to Canada the following year to avoid prosecution, then waged a 15-year legal battle to avoid being sent back.

Date created : 2012-01-24

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