18 May 2017

Rwanda: Genocide - Dutch Court Remands Fugitive Until June 15

A Rwandan arrested in Denmark earlier this week over an outstanding arrest warrant pertaining to his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi has been remanded by a Danish court until June 15, according to media reports.

The suspect, whom witness accounts and other sources corroborate to be a one Wenceslas Twagirayezu, was pinned by prosecution for having played a role in the killings in western Rwanda.

Appearing before court that was chaired by Judge Jens Berg, prosecution charged him with masterminding massacres in a church and a university, where thousands of Tutsi were killed.

Specifically, a Danish prosecutor said the accused was part of a gang of 200 that attacked a university where over 1,000 people - mainly students, lecturers and other staff - were killed.

Our independent investigations conducted through interviews with Genocide survivors from the area established that one of the attacks in which Twagirayezu was among the ringleaders was carried out at Mudende University in the present Rubavu District.

The church referred to during the hearing is believed to be Busasamana Catholic Parish, where more than 3,000 Tutsi had sought refuge and most of whom were killed by militiamen led by the suspect.

After listening to the charges against Twagirayezu, who is said to work with an IT company in the capital Copenhagen, Judge Berg ruled to remand him so that he does not tamper with evidence or even flee the country for fear of being prosecuted.

About the suspect

Twagirayezu was naturalised as a Danish citizen in 2004, having arrived in the Nordic country in 2001.

It is said that Twagirayezu, who apparently runs an organisation in Denmark called Dutabarane Foundation, was a teacher at Majambere Primary School in Busasamana Sector of the present Rubavu District.

"He was well known in the former communes of Rubavu, Mutura and Rwerere. He openly carried a gun," said a source who preferred to remain anonymous.

According to prosecution, the suspect was also the president of the extremist party, CDR, in the former Gacurabwenge Sector also in the current Rubavu District, and was a known militia leader in the area during the Genocide against the Tutsi.

CDR was composed of the most virulent members of the extremist political outfits that played a role in the Genocide.

The Danish prosecution is likely to request that the suspect be extradited to Rwanda for trial after a precedent that was set in 2014 when the country extradited Emmanuel Mbarushimana.

Mbarushimana, a former inspector of schools, is currently on trial at the specialised chamber for international crimes at High Court.


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