The British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Jo Lomas has said that the metropolitan Police have started to investigate cases of genocide suspects living in the UK.
Lomas was speaking to the media on Thursday shortly after paying courtesy call to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye.
Lomas said that they had wide range discussions about various international judicial issues including the case of genocide suspects living in the UK.
“I have really showed the minister that this is an issue we take very seriously, it is however a judiciary issue, not political issue we can’t get involved. I assured the minister that the metropolitan police have launched a preliminary investigation to see whether there would be a case that would be brought to court and punished by law, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will decide on that. There is always that investigation and we have showed the government of Rwanda that we are taking this case seriously,” she told journalists.
Busingye said that the issue of genocide fugitives is close to the hearts of Rwanda’s justice system, Rwandan population and the government.
“I raised all the issues that need to be raised; one of them is the time it is taking, it is now twelve years since we started trying to get these people extradited to Rwanda for trial. It’s now one year since we said, well, if you cannot extradite these people try them,” he said.
Busingye said that the high commissioner assured him that the metropolitan police have seriously taken on the issue.
“What I expressed seriously is that to us time is of essence whether these people will be put to trial and their innocence or guilt get proved is so important in their lifetime, it is useless after they are dead,” he explained.
On whether suspects could get fair trial in Rwanda, Busingye said that justice system should interrogate itself more because many countries across the globe have extradited suspects at different phases of cases and that kind of fear has not been there.
“We have not had the fears expressed by British Justice system justified in any of the cases that have come from the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Canada and USA among other countries that have extradited people here,” he added.
About genocide suspects in the UK
Vincent Bajinya also known as Brown is suspected of being in a group that had been working closing with former President Juvénal Habyarimana in the preparation of genocide. He’s suspected on participation in acts that killed many people in Kigali.
He was arrested by Police in the UK on December 28th 2006 following the call by government of Rwanda.
Célestin Mutabaruka had been a pastor in Pentecostal Church before the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. He’s suspected on collaboration with Interahamwe in preparation, coordination and execution of mass killing that took lives of over 20,000.
Charles Munyaneza had been the mayor of former Kinyamakara commune in Gikongoro Prefecture. He’s suspected on role in preparation and execution of genocide, and heading and organizing the attacks at Mwogo River in former Gikongoro, the attacks killed many Tutsi.
Célestin Ugirashebuja was born in 1953. He had been the mayor of former Kigoma Commune in Gitarama Prefecture. He is suspected on planning and execution of genocide in the commune. It is said that he ordered the killing of Tutsi who were carried at his office and ordered Hutu to hunt all Tutsi who had hidden.
In the second week of April 1994, Ugirashebuja led an attack which had been hunting and raping women.
Emmanuel Nteziryayo had been the mayor of former Mudasomwa commune in Gikongoro Prefecture. He is suspected on planning and execution of genocide. He also led the attack that killed many Tutsi in the region.