Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


France to extradite Rwanda genocide suspects

14 November 2013, 10:17

Paris - A French appeals court on Wednesday approved the extradition of two Rwandans wanted at home for their alleged role in the 1994 genocide that claimed about 800 000 lives.

The ruling on Claude Muhayimana, 52, a French citizen since 2010, and Innocent Musabyimana, 41, is not final and can still be challenged.

Although many countries such as Canada and Norway have extradited genocide suspects, France has so far refused to do so, fearing they would be denied a fair trial.

But it has sent some to Tanzania to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The two men's case will now go up to a higher court for a final ruling after their lawyer Philippe Meilhac signalled his intention to appeal.

If the extradition is approved, France would still have to sign an extradition treaty with Rwanda for the two to be sent back.

The head of the appeals court, Jean Bertholin, told the pair their "lives will not be in danger if you return to your country and you will be guaranteed a fair trial".

Muhayimana is accused of taking part in the massacre of ethnic Tutsis in the western town of Kibuye and Musabyimana in the north-western province of Gisenyi, near the Congolese border.

Both men have already appeared in front of appeals courts in Dijon and Rouen which ordered their extradition.

The rulings were quashed by the Court of Cassation - France's highest appeals court, which rules only on points of law - which sent them on to the Paris appeals court.

Trade and diplomatic relations

French prosecutors said that while the two men could not be extradited on a number of the crimes attributed to them, they could be for those of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Alain Mukuralinda, a spokesperson for Rwanda's prosecutor general, said it was "satisfied" with the ruling.

"If the appeals court judge decided to extradite, that means there is a hope because it means [the judge] based himself on concrete things," he said.

"This means the investigation carried out in Rwanda was well done," he said.

Genocide is punishable under a June 19, 1994 law passed in Rwanda. The killings there began in April that year.

Before the genocide, France had been one of Rwanda's main backers. But in its aftermath, relations between the two countries collapsed.

President Paul Kagame, a Tutsi rebel leader who came to power after the massacre, accused France of training and arming Hutu militia that perpetrated the genocide - an accusation strenuously denied by Paris.

Diplomatic ties between France and Rwanda were severed in 2006 when a French judge said Kagame and others had orchestrated the assassination of former president Juvenal Habyarimana to trigger the bloodshed - an accusation he denies and which the French courts have since dropped.

But both trade and diplomatic relations have recently strengthened.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...