Arusha, January 25 2012 (FH) - Rwandan scholar Leon Mugesera will appear before the High Court in Rwanda within seven days of his arrival in Kigali, where readiness by both parties to commence substantive trial will be assessed, according to a statement issued by the Office of the Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga on Tuesday.

1 min 22Approximate reading time

"Like anyone else facing trial in a Rwandan court, Leon Mugesera will be assisted by lawyers of his choice at every stage," the statement further reads. He will now face charges of inciting murder, extermination and genocide for a speech he gave in 1992.

According to the prosecution in Rwanda, he called Hutus to kill Tutsis by throwing them into Nyabarongo River in Rwanda.

Mugesera (59) arrived in the Rwandan Capital City on Tuesday night aboard a special flight from Canada after losing his deportation battle.

His deportation comes after the Canadian judiciary was satisfied with judicial progress made in the country. Rwanda abolished the death penalty in 2007 and has strong collaboration with the United Nations across a range of justice and human rights issues. The UN has entrusted Rwanda to house war criminals from Sierra Leone and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has declared the country safe for returning refugees.

On Monday, the Superior Court in Quebec, Canada, dismissed final appeal by Mugesera, opposing his deportation. He had been notified that he would face deportation on January 12, 2012 following a decision by Canada's Immigration Ministry that his life would not be in danger if he was returned to his home country to stand trial.

The Immigration Ministry's ruling came about six years after the country's Supreme Court restored the decision to return Mugesera to Rwanda, citing reasonable grounds to believe he committed a crime against humanity. However, Mugesera's deportation wasn't immediately enforced because his lawyer launched an appeal before the Federal Court.

On January 11, 2012, the UN Committee against Torture asked Canada to suspend the deportation pending determination of the lawyer's request to investigate whether Mugesera would be at risk of persecution if sent back to Rwanda. The Quebec court heard the appeal on Friday (January 20), and dismissed it for lack of merits.


© Hirondelle News Agency