Canada set to deport Rwandan genocide suspect

Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:03pm EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - A Rwandan man charged with crimes against humanity, will be deported to his homeland as soon as possible, Canadian authorities said on Monday, ending his 16-year battle to stay in Canada.

Leon Mugesera will be sent to Rwanda to face charges of inciting murder, extermination and genocide.

Mugesera, who says he fears torture or death if returned to Rwanda, spent years fighting his deportation in various courts. He and his family live in the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec.

"I am not aware of any outstanding court issues ... we will remove him as quickly as legally possible," a federal government official told Reuters.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2005 that a speech Mugesera made in Rwanda in 1992 was a crime against humanity by inciting Hutus to kill Tutsis, who he referred to cockroaches and said should be exterminated

Rwanda says Mugesera is a war criminal who was complicit in the genocide of 1994, when hundreds of thousands of Tutsis died in massacres.

Lawyers for Mugesera argued their client, who taught at a Quebec City college after he arrived in Canada, was a man of integrity who had sheltered ethnic Tutsis.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture had requested Mugesera not be deported until a group of experts could review the case. Ottawa though pressed ahead with the deportation bid.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

 
<p>Leon Mugusera (L), along with his wife (C) and daughter (R), walk out of court April 12, 2001 in Quebec City. REUTERS/Didier Debusschere</p>