Rwanda genocide suspect deported from Canada

Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:05pm EST
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By Graham Holliday

KIGALI (Reuters) - A Rwandan man charged with crimes against humanity has been deported from Canada and is due to arrive in the central African country overnight, Rwanda's justice minister said on Tuesday.

Leon Mugesera, who lost a 16-year battle to stay in Canada, will face charges of inciting murder, extermination and genocide.

Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said he was told Mugesera was on a plane bound for Rwanda, after Canadian authorities said on Monday he would be deported as soon as possible.

"There would be some security that is accompanying him and they would hand him over to Rwandan authorities," Karugarama told Reuters, adding Mugesera would most likely be held in one of two prisons in Rwanda.

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

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, whom he referred to as cockroaches that should be exterminated.

Rwanda says Mugesera, who was a member of the ruling Hutu party when he made the speech, is a war criminal who was complicit in the 1994 genocide, in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus died.

Lawyers for Mugesera argued their client, who taught at a Quebec City college, was a man of integrity who had sheltered ethnic Tutsis.   Continued...

<p>Leon Mugusera (R) and his lawyer Guy Bertrand walk out of court in Quebec City in this April 12, 2001 file photo. REUTERS/Didier Debusschere</p>