Government questioned on alleged Rwandan genocide perpetrators

Government questioned on alleged Rwandan genocide perpetrators
09 April 2019

Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, asked the Government to make a statement to the House of Commons on the handling of the cases of five alleged perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide in the United Kingdom.

Background

Rwanda is currently reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide, in which approximately 800,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis were murdered.

In 2017, Rwanda requested the extradition of five British men for alleged genocidal crimes, but were denied by the High Court who ruled that there was a high risk they would not receive a fair trial. Following the referral of documents from Rwanda to Scotland Yard, the investigation has been reopened.

All five men deny the charges.

Government response

Speaking for the Government, Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace confirmed that the Met War Crimes Unit had received a referral from the Rwandan authorities relating to five individuals and allegations of genocide offences. An initial assessment of the evidence was undertaken:

"We have subsequently commenced an investigation which will initially involve a review of all the documentation transferred from Rwanda. Given the complexities involved, this is expected to be a protracted and lengthy process. Enquiries continue."

Responding, Andrew Mitchell quoted Rwandan Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye, saying:

“Anyone who cares about British values and justice should be ashamed. The UK will go down in history  as the only country in Europe which knowingly shielded alleged Rwandan genocidaires from justice.” 

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Adam63

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