Genocide fugitive extradited from Germany
At exactly 04:12pm yesterday, a passenger plane carrying extradited genocide fugitive Jean Twagiramungu touched down at Kigali International Airport, marking the end of the suspect’s battles against his extradition from the Germany.
Twagiramungu is accused of crimes of Genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity which he allegedly committed in the former Gikongoro Prefecture, now part of the Southern Province.
His extradition came two years after his arrest.
Upon arrival at the airport, Twagiramungu was taken to the Airport offices where he was served with a new arrest warrant, given a lawyer in accordance with the relevant legal provisions and his rights read out before judicial police officers started questioning him.
His arrival was witness by the Commissioner of Interpol at Rwanda National Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Peter Karake, along with the Head of the Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit, John Bosco Siboyintore and the spokesperson of the Prosecution, Faustin Nkusi.
Reacting to the extradition, ACP Karake recognized he efforts of all stakeholders that facilitated the process and said; “It’s a matter of time before the long arm of the law eventually catches up with every genocide fugitive just like it has happened to Twagiramungu. We will not give up to the last fugitive.”
According to Nkusi, Twagiramungu is accused of participating in the mass killings and extermination of Tutsis in the former Rukondo and Karama Communes in the then Gikongoro prefecture.
The Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Mutangana had earlier told The New Times that; “We are ready to process him through courts of law as we have done with other suspects. This is a very positive development in efforts to book those responsible for the Genocide. The implication is that Germany cannot be considered safe haven for these fugitives any more.”
A former teacher, Twagiramungu is precisely accused of having s brandished traditional arms including machetes everywhere he went. He was seen with such at various roadblocks where several Tutsi were killed
This is the first Genocide fugitive to be extradited from Germany, but in 2014 a court there handed a 14-year jail sentence to Onesphore Rwabukombe, a former district mayor, after he was convicted of a role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Also, Germany has previously tried and convicted two leaders of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an outfit largely made up of Genocide perpetrators that is based in Democratic Republic of Congo.
The two are Ignace Murwanashyaka, the militia group’s founding president and his deputy, Straton Musoni, who were convicted for war crimes and sentenced to 13 and eight years, respectively.
So far, Rwanda has sent out 845 indictments but only 17 fugitives have been extradited or deported.