Rwandan Genocide: suspect arrested in The Netherlands
Monday 26 October the International Crimes Unit of the Dutch police arrested a 71-year old Rwandan man. Rwanda has requested his extradition because of his suspected involvement in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The man will remain in custody.
According to the Rwandan authorities the requested person was a bank employee and owned a pharmacy in the capital city Kigali in 1994. He was a member of the so-called ‘Power wing’ of the MDR political party that was involved in the massacres against Tutsi citizens.
The Rwandan authorities allege that the requested person participated in a meeting held in April 1994 during which the killing of Tutsis was prepared. He is suspected of having compiled a list of Tutsis to be killed by militias. He is also searched for the alleged involvement in other attacks on Tutsi civilians.
In 2000 the man requested asylum in The Netherlands. The Immigration and Naturalization Service rejected his asylum application because there were serious reasons to consider that he was involved in the genocide after an investigation carried out by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda cost the lives of approximately 800.000 civilians. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of the United Nations in Arusha (Tanzania) has established the large scale involvement of soldiers and civil militias with massacres of Tutsis.
Investigation and prosecution
The general principle for The Netherlands is that the investigation and prosecution of International Crimes should take place in the country where the crimes were committed if possible. In most cases, that is where most of the evidence is and where participants in proceedings are best acquainted with language, culture and background of the relevant events. More importantly, that is where usually most of the victims and their relatives are.