Arusha, 25 September 2007 (FH) - Procedures aiming at extraditing four Rwandans wanted by their country for their alleged roles in the 1994 genocide began Monday in London and will last until Friday.

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Arrested on 28 December 2006 in the United Kingdom, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, former mayor of Mudasomwa, Vincent Bajinya, former interahamwe officer, Celestin Ugirashebuja, former mayor of Kigoma, and Charles Munyaneza, former mayor of Kinyamakara, have denied any responsibility. They lived respectively, according to the British newspaper The Guardian, in Manchester, Islington (in the north of London), Walton-on-the-Naze in Sussex and in Bedford.

Bajinya, a doctor by training, had succeeded in obtaining British citizenship, under the name of Vincent Brown. According to The Guardian, he is classified in the first category of people wanted by Rwanda for their roles in the genocide. He would have participated as a member of the MRND at a meeting in 1993 before becoming head of a militia and organizing roadblocks in the district of Rugenge in Kigali.

The hearing, which began Monday, will continue until Friday. According to the AFP, the Attorney General of Rwanda, Martin Ngoga, welcomed the opening of theses procedures and stated hope that they will lead to the extradition of the four accused. "It constitutes a sign of goodwill. There is undoubtedly a hope that all these alleged génocidaires (exiled) in Europe will soon be arrested ", the Rwandan magistrate told the AFP.

Their arrests had happened three weeks after the visit to London of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. A special agreement was signed for this purpose between the two countries.

The 1994 genocide in Rwanda resulted, according to Kigali, in approximately a million deaths, primarily Tutsis.

© Hirondelle News Agency