Arusha, October 22, 2009 (FH) - Rwanda is going to ask for the extradition of Emmanuel Uwayezu, a Catholic priest arrested on Tuesday in Italy for his alleged role in the 1994 genocide, the Prosecution Spokesperson, Augustin Nkusi, told Radio Rwanda on Thursday.

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Uwayezu arrived in Italy in 1997, where he took an alias and worked as a vicar in Empoli commune near Florence. He was arrested there by virtue of an international warrant issued by the Rwandan authorities and transmitted to Interpol.

"When we issued the warrant, we requested that he would be arrested and transferred to Rwanda. We are going to ask Italy for his extradition. Here, justice works well, even the International Community admits it," Augustin Nkusi told Radio Rwanda.

European countries have doubts about the equity of Rwandan Justice and are unwilling to extradite Rwandan suspects to their home country.

Kigali demands that European countries would, at least, judge the defendants. "What we want to see is justice being delivered", the Rwandan Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama, told the local New Times on Thursday.

Uwayezu, aged 47, is accused of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity.

According to Interpol's statement, the Rwandan arrest warrant charges Uwayezu with having " acted individually and as part of a conspiracy to plan and commit genocide by instigating Hutus to kill Tutsis in the area of Gikongoro, as director of the Groupe Scolaire Marie Merci in Kibeho."

He is accused of "participating in meetings with government and military authorities which allegedly planned the extermination of the Tutsi ethnic group" and "complicity in the massacre of some 80 students in May 1994 in the College which he headed."

"I am myself interested in a trial in order to establish the facts," the Hutu priest was quoted by an Italian news agency to have declared on his arrest.


© Hirondelle News Agency