Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

South African court rules Jacob Zuma should face corruption charges

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A Royal Challenge from the Obamas

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Lights go out in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia goes green (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Stalemate in Spain and Protests in Paris (part 2)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Cinema, a French love affair

Read more

#TECH 24

'VR' immersive journalism

Read more

REVISITED

Nepal revisited, one year after the deadly earthquake

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

France's River Charente, a rich ecosystem

Read more

FOCUS

Libya: Who's running the country?

Read more

France

French court releases Rwanda genocide suspect

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-09-12

A French court rejected a request from Rwanda on Thursday for the extradition of Laurent Serubuga, a former colonel in the Rwandan army, over his role in the country’s 1994 genocide, instead ordering his release.

A court in France on Thursday rejected a request from Rwanda for the extradition of an ex-colonel wanted in connection with the country's 1994 genocide and ordered his release.

Laurent Serubuga, around 75 years old, was arrested near the northern French city of Cambrai in July under an international arrest warrant issued by Rwanda.

Serubuga was the Rwandan army's deputy chief of staff during the April-July genocide in 1994 in which an estimated 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis, were killed by the ethnic majority Hutus.

In rejecting the extradition request, the court in Douai in northern France said Serubuga cannot be prosecuted for genocide when the crime did not exist in the Rwandan criminal code when the atrocities were committed.

It also rejected charges of murder against Serubuga, saying the arrest warrant was issued more than 10 years after the alleged crimes so was beyond the statute of limitations.

French prosecutors, who had called for the extradition request to be granted, can appeal the court's decision.

Alain Gautier, the head of the Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda, voiced his disappointment.

"It's sadly a decision we were expecting," he said. "It's the 15th or 16th time that France has refused an extradition to Rwanda."

Gautier said Serubuga was a "very important figure in the genocide."

Serubuga's son Paulin, who was present at the court, meanwhile expressed "relief" and said justice had prevailed.

"We were expecting a political trial... Our father is sick, we want him to be cared for."

"Rwanda's lies did not convince the judges," he said.

France has repeatedly refused to extradite genocide suspects to Rwanda, fearing they would be denied a fair trial, but has sent some to Tanzania to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

There are currently about 20 genocide-related cases pending in French courts.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-09-12

  • FRANCE - RWANDA

    French ex-cop accused of Rwanda genocide complicity

    Read more

  • RWANDA - FRANCE

    France orders first Rwandan genocide trial

    Read more

  • ICC

    ICC issues warrant for Rwandan militia chief Mudacumura

    Read more

COMMENT(S)