26.04.05 - ICTR/RWANDA/USA - EXTRADITED GENOCIDE SUSPECT TO FACE GACACA IN RWANDA

Arusha, April 25th, 2005 (FH) - A genocide suspect who was extradited from the United States on Friday, will soon appear before the Gacaca tribunal in his village.

This was revealed to Hirondelle News Agency by Rwanda’s deputy Attorney General, Martin Ngoga, on Monday.

2 min 15Approximate reading time

Enos Kagaba, 49, a former teacher at a medical school in Kibuye (western Rwanda) was handed over to Rwandan authorities on Friday after a three-year court battle to prevent his extradition.

When the removal order was signed by the immigration appeals judge in the US, Kagaba became the first genocide suspect to be extradited to Rwanda following a court order.

Ngoga who did not hide his country’s pleasure said that there was “a renewed effort to track down fugitives wherever they are”.

“The message is loud and clear. Fugitives who have committed acts of genocide should not find a safe haven anywhere”, announced the senior Rwandan official.

Ngoga seemed to be echoing the exact words of Kristine D'Alesandro, Acting Chief of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Human Rights Law Division (HRLD) when the judgment had first been read out last December.

“The United States will not be a safe haven for human rights abusers,” said D'Alesandro.

“ICE attorneys secured an important victory for the hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants who come to America each year in pursuit of freedom and opportunity. The legal immigration system they respect will not be exploited by criminals”, she said.

When Kagaba was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in December 2001, he was first charged with attempting to enter the United States using false documents.

ICE authorities later discovered his true identity and the fact that the accused was wanted in Rwanda for playing a role in the 1994 genocide.

Enos Kagaba’s name continued to come up during the trial of Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son, Dr. Gerald Ntakirutimana, who were both convicted of genocide in 2003 at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Part of the judgment in that case reads that; “Witness DD testified that among the attackers on 16 April he saw Gérard Ntakirutimana and Kagaba, both armed, and Ngirinshuti, who was unarmed”.

Martin Ngoga also revealed that it was up to the Gacaca tribunal to decide in which category to place the accused and whether he would be tried there in the village or by higher courts.

Gacaca only deals with the lesser suspects (categories two and three) while those who fall into the first category are tried by convectional courts.

Category one suspects are those who planned and organised the genocide, leaders, those who committed acts of sexual crimes, and “Notorious murderers who by virtue of the zeal or excessive malice with which they committed atrocities, distinguished themselves in their areas of residence or where they passed”.

This is the first time in history that an alien has been refused entry into the United States for having engaged in the genocide.

While the US immigration and naturalisation act listed crimes that could be cited to force the removal of an alien, it was only in 1990 that the US Congress included the crime of genocide on the list.

Immigration officials also recently apprehended another Rwandan genocide suspect who had been living in Chicago.

Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, alias “Zuzu”, was arrested by ICE agents in Chicago and criminally charged with visa fraud after lying about his role in the Rwandan genocide.

The Rwandan government has already issued a warrant of arrest for Mudahinyuka who is currently awaiting trial for visa fraud and assault of a federal officer.

KN/AT/GF/FH (RW’’’0425e)