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Is Top Dutch court accomplice with Tutsi...

The Dutch supreme court on Tuesday ruled that Pierre-Claver Karangwa accused of committing genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi should not be extradited to Rwanda with the pretext that it cannot be guaranteed his trial will be fair.

In its judgment the Supreme Court confirmed a lower court ruling of November last year that said extradition to Rwanda risked “a flagrant infringement of the right to a fair trial" for Pierre-Claver Karangwa because he is an opposition politician.

The Dutch authorities, who have extradited at least three Rwandan genocide suspects to stand trial in Kigali since 2016, had appealed that decision but that appeal was denied by the Supreme Court.

Karangwa, a former military official in his sixties, is accused of having a key role in the massacres of nearly 30,000 Tutsis in the Mugina parish near the Rwandan capital of Kigali in April 1994.

A general view shows the exterior of St. Pierre Catholic Church Kibuye where thousands of Tutsis were killed during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, in Kibuye, Karongo city center, Karongi district South West of Rwanda May 26, 2023. REUTERS/Jean Bizimana

An estimated of more than one million Tutsis and few Hutu who did not agree or who were leaders in opposition parties, were killed during Rwanda’s genocide, orchestrated by an extremist Hutu regime and meticulously executed by local officials and ordinary citizens in the rigidly hierarchical society.

Karangwa has already had his Dutch nationality revoked over the genocide accusations. He is now in a legal limbo where he is officially not wanted in the Netherlands but cannot be extradited. A contradictory decision, without no logic, but which the court assumes without complex.

Is the Netherlands becoming a den for Rwandan genocidaires ?

To begin with the court should use the right words to be able to make a proper judgment. Indeed there has never been a Rwandan genocide, it was indeed a genocide against the Tutsi.

And yet the Netherlands is one of the European countries who have made remarkable efforts to extradite to Rwanda Rwandan genocidaires who thought they had found a haven in this country. The most recent of those alleged genocidaires is Venant Rutunga, alias Kota Venant, who was sent to Rwanda on 27 July 2021 is a case in point.

Venant Rutunga, 72, faces three charges, including playing a role in the genocide, complicity in killing, and crimes against humanity, according to Rwanda’s National Public Prosecution Authority. He is a former director at ISAR ( Rwanda Agricultural Research Institute), in southern Rwanda.

Regrettably, 27 years on, lots of hardcore genocidaires continue to live unperturbed in the Netherlands. Most of them claim to be political opponents and not a genocidaire on the run.

Almost all declare themselves political opponents against the government of Rwanda, which may be true. But this does not exclude that they committed the crime of genocide, and that they committed it within the framework of a certain policy.

Author: MANZI
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