Sweden charges Rwandan genocide suspect

EPA/STEPHEN MORRISON

A file picture dated 24 August 2003 showing a European Union election monitor from Sweden look at some of the 5,000 skulls on display, at a memorial for the 1994 genocide at the Ntarama Catholic Church outside Kigali, Rwanda. On Monday, 07 April 2014 leaders including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will gather in Kigali, Rwanda, to remember the events in 1994, when around 800,000 Rwandans were brutally killed in a three-month campaign by the Hutu-led government against the Tutsi population.

Sweden charges Rwandan genocide suspect


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Stockholm. A Swedish Prosecutor charged a man with involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

He is to be trialed on September 16th. In Rwanda,  he was convicted in absentia to to 30 years in prison.

The man is of Hutu origin and has lived in Sweden since 2002. He was naturalized in 2012 and he is believed to be a low level official involved in murder and kidnapping of Tutsis. As a Swedish citizen, he cannot be extradited.

This is not the first time Sweden charges Rwandan nationals for the 1994 genocide, with a toll of 800,000 Tutsi lives.

The first trial that resulted in a conviction in Sweden was in 2012. It concerned Stanislas Mbanenande, 54, a Swedish citizen naturalized in 2008, described as a mob leader that recruited young men to take part in the massacres. Part of his trial was carried out in Rwanda, where witnesses testified in the high court of Kigali. He was convicted in June 2013.

Rwandans have also be prosecuted and convicted in Canada, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands for their involvement in the Tutsi genocide.

As the trial in Kigali indicates, Sweden spares no expense to afford suspects with a fair trial, despite the objective difficulties of gathering evidence for a crime committed more than 20 years ago.

A similar charge in 2008 of Sylvere Ahorugeze, a Rwandan national, resulted in his acquittal in July 2011. Ahorugeze was detained in Sweden after Rwanda issued an international arrest warrant for his alleged participation in the slaughter of 25 people.

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