Paris, 3 April 2008 (FH) -A French court Wednesday endorsed extradition of a former Rwandan businessman, Claver Kamanya, to his country of origin where he is wanted for alleged role in the 1994 genocide.

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The Court of Appeal of Chambery gave the unprecedented consent following an international arrest warrant issued by Rwandan authorities against the suspect. The public ministry had endorsed the extradition.

The accused was arrested in Annecy, East of France, on 26 February.

Kamanya's lawyer, Philippe Greciano, however, hinted that he was going to appeal the decision. The extradition decree is signed by the Prime Minister after having exhausted all legal avenues.

The verdict, according to Greciano, goes against French policy, which has decided to try Rwandans in France.

The prosecution of Paris of lately has opened several legal inquiries against Rwandans living in France and allegedly implicated in the 1994 genocide. Among them includes, widow of Juvenal Habyarimana, former Rwandan president assassinated on 6 April 1994.

"The decision to extradite Mr Kamana will delight those who are seeking justice and who think that it is important that an alleged criminal is tried to the nearest possible location of the crimes", said Thursday Alain Gauthier, President of an umbrella of association defending interests of Rwanda genocide victims (CCPR) in an official statement.

Kamanya, born in 1936, has been living in France since 1999. He was processing documents to request for a political asylum in France.

Rwanda abolished the death penalty in February 2007.


© Hirondelle News Agency