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[Published: Friday July 10 2009]

Rwandan genocide suspect to be extradited

Stockholm, 10 July-(ANA)-A Rwandan national accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide will be extradited from Sweden to Rwanda to face trial, the Swedish government said Thursday.

Sylvere Ahorugeze, a 53-year-old former director of Rwanda's civil aviation authority, will be extradited within three weeks of Rwandan prosecutors formally receiving the Swedish decision, the justice ministry said.

"The government has today decided to extradite to Rwanda a Rwandan citizen suspected of genocide in 1994," Justice Minister Beatrice Ask said.

"Sweden is the first country in Europe to extradite a suspected genocide criminal to Rwanda. This has not been an easy decision."

Sweden's Supreme Court ruled on May 27 that Ahorugeze could return home to stand trial, saying there was nothing in Swedish or European law that prevents someone suspected of genocide from being extradited.

Ahorugeze, who has been a refugee in Denmark since 2001, was arrested in July 2008 after he was recognised at the Rwandan embassy in neighbouring Sweden.

The Rwandan government demanded his extradition a month later.

He has been held in custody since July 16, 2008.

Ahorugeze is suspected of having been one of the leaders of the Hutu extremists involved in the genocide.

He also stands accused of murdering 28 Tutsis in a suburb of the Rwandan capital Kigali on April 7, 1994.

Hutu extremists killed some 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis but also some moderate Hutus, during the 100-day genocide.(Ana)

FA/ANA/10 July 2009---




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