Paris, April 1st, 2012 (FH) - A French appeals court in Rouen agreed on Thursday that Claude Muhayimana, a Franco-rwandan suspect, should be extradited to Rwanda to face charges of genocide for crimes allegedly committed in Kibuye region in 1994.

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The court ruling follows an international arrest warrant for Muhayimana issued on December 2011, seventeen years after the crimes were committed.

French courts have previously rejected all extradition requests from Rwanda with one exception: in July 2008, Chambery’s appeals court ruled that Rwandan businessman Claver Kamana could be extradited to Rwanda. However, the ruling was overturned by the final court of Appeal.

Muhayimana’s lawyer, Geraldine Boitieux, said her client, 51, a municipal employee in Rouen, denied all the charges and would appeal the decision. “My client is French and France has never extradited one of its citizens”, she said. “He denies all the charges as he was not in the area at the time the crimes were committed”.

"My client believes he has no guarantee that he will be judged by an impartial court given the current situation in Rwanda," she also told AFP news agency.

The Rwandan ambassador to France, Jacques Kabale, said in a statement that he was "satisfied" with the decision. He insisted that Rwanda's courts were able to guarantee Mr Muhayimana's right to a fair trial.