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Extradited from US, Rwandan genocide suspect arrives home

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Kigali, Rwanda | AFP |

A linguistics professor wanted for alleged involvement in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide has been extradited from the United States, the government announced Thursday.

Leopold Munyakazi, 65, arrived in Kigali on Wednesday night aboard a charter flight from the US, said a statement posted on the website of the Rwandan Prosecutor General.

Munyakazi, from Gitarama in central Rwanda, denies participating in the genocide in which around 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis, were killed. He had moved to the US in 2004 and taught French in Baltimore until his suspension in 2008.

He was later detained in an Alabama prison and then extradited this week after a lengthy legal battle over his failed asylum application and subsequent deportation order.

 

Kigali had issued two arrest warrants against Munyakazi in 2006 and in 2008. He had argued that the genocide allegations were concocted and that he was really being prosecuted for opposing the regime of President Paul Kagame.

Munyakazi is the most senior of four Rwandan genocide suspects so far extradited by the US and will be tried for genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity.

A dozen Rwandans accused of participating in the genocide have already been sent to Kigali for trial, mostly from the US, Canada, Uganda as well as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which closed its doors in late 2015.

European countries have been reluctant to extradite accused Rwandans for fear they will not receive a fair trial.

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