Arusha, June 21, 2011(FH) - A Norwegian court on Monday extended by two months the detention of a 45-year-old Rwandan suspected of murder during the 1994 genocide in his country, reports AFP.

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While conceding that remanding the suspect, Sadi Bugingo, in custody for several months was a constraint for him, the Oslo court, citing the "gravity of the charges", said "it was necessary to guard against the risk of destruction of evidence and escape."

Bugingo, who has been living in the western Norwegian town of Bergen with his family since 2002, was arrested there last May 3. According to Rwanda's New Times newspaper, Bugingo is suspected of murdering Tutsis in the southeastern town of Kibungo and elsewhere.

Bugingo's Norwegian lawyer, however, said his client denied all the allegations brought against him.  

John Bosco Siboyintore, the acting head of the Rwandan Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit (GFTU) welcomed the decision, and said that it will help the prosecutors gather more substantial evidence, the New Times reports.

He noted that Rwanda was still waiting to see if Norway would honour the request to extradite Bugingo either to be tried or serve his sentence from here.

"We sent the extradition request in 2008. They came here and carried out their own investigations for the last two years. They visited crime scenes and recorded statements," Siboyintore said, according to the New Times.

"We don't know yet if they will use the recorded statements to extradite him or to try him in their jurisdiction. But our initial request was to have him extradited to Rwanda. Extraditing suspects is always our priority".


© Hirondelle News Agency