Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Canada sends genocide suspect home

Leon Mugesera was flown from Canada on a plane bound for Kigali, Rwanda

A man has been deported from Canada for allegedly helping incite Rwanda's 1994 genocide, the African country's foreign minister said.

Leon Mugesera was taken to an airport in Montreal by Canadian border-services agents and Rwandan foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo later confirmed in a Twitter account note that he had left on a plane bound for Kigali, Rwanda's capital.

Mugesera, 59, had been living in Canada for 16 years and was wanted in Rwanda on charges stemming from the 1994 massacre.

A former Rwandan political operative, Mugesera delivered a fiery anti-Tutsi speech in the lead-up to the 1994 genocide. In that 1992 speech, he referred to Tutsis as "cockroaches" and called for their extermination.

He is among the first Western refugee claimants to be sent back to face charges.

Amid a flurry of legal activity, Mugesera lost two judicial battles in provincial and federal courts, paving the way to his expulsion.

A spokesman for Canada Border Services Agency said they would not confirm the deportation due to privacy laws.

At Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, a small group of Mugesera's supporters gathered in a tearful huddle. The group left the airport without making any statements to the media.

His case is one of several following recent rulings by the European Human Rights Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which have ordered the transfer of alleged war criminals.

Mugesera is accused in Rwanda of inciting genocide and crimes against humanity. His 1992 speech seen as one of the triggers that led to a 100-day massacre of Tutsis and Hutu moderates two years later. Up to one million Rwandans died during a three-month slaughter.

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