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Gothenburg residents want to avoid extradition for Rwanda genocide

The 44-year-old has lived in Gothenburg for 15 years. He has a wife and children and is well established in Swedish society with a permanent job as a machine operator in an industrial company.

When two guards took him to the Supreme Court, he was handcuffed and detained for a year.

The man is suspected of involvement in the 1994 genocide that killed one million Rwandans. The Rwandan prosecutor’s office wants to extradite him for trial in his home country. But it is also the subject of a preliminary Swedish investigation into the genocide.

The Supreme Court shall Not taking a stand on the suspected crime, but the question is whether the 44-year-old can be extradited to Rwanda. The Swedish Prosecutor believes that there are insufficient grounds to stop extradition and points to the fact that Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, among others, recently extradited the Rwandan genocide.

Lawyers Thomas Bodstrom and Hana Larsson Rambe represent a Gothenburg citizen who Rwanda wants to extradite as a genocide suspect.

Photo: Jonas Lindqvist

Lawyers Thomas Bodstrom and Hana Larsson Ramby are defending the 44-year-old. Instead, they noted, both the United Kingdom and Norway found that the Rwandan judiciary did not meet international requirements for legal certainty and that a fair trial could not be expected for the man there.

As a witness, they contacted the Norwegian lawyer Bringolf Ressens, who represented a man who had not been extradited to Rwanda by decision of the Norwegian government. Via a video link, he testified before the Supreme Court about how the fabricated witness statements used in his case were used to identify his client.

– There were indications of false testimony throughout the process. We felt that the Norwegian police were not interested in investigating this matter. “We conducted our own investigations and were able to do so through an international investigator who spoke to witnesses,” Bringolf Resnes said in court.

We traveled to Rwanda and Zambia to interview witnesses. It was shocking because we confirmed all our suspicions of perjury. “It was bigger than we thought,” he continued.

Defense was too He contacted Canadian lawyer Philippe La Rochelle, who immediately testified in Stockholm. One of the foreign lawyers who tried to help Paul Russabagina, known in the big movie Hotel Rwanda, was When he was charged in Rwanda.

Paul Rosabagina during the trial in Kigali 2020.

Paul Rosabagina during the trial in Kigali 2020.

Photo: Muhizi Olivier / AP

In addition to the fabricated testimonies, La Rochelle claims that prisoners are tortured in Rwandan prisons, that Rwandan lawyers are afraid to raise sensitive issues that could help their clients, and that the courts and authorities cannot be considered independent.

Philippe La Rochelle’s work with Rwandan clients since 2001, both in Canada and Rwanda. He told the Supreme Court that he was present when Rwandan witnesses admitted that they had provided incorrect information.

He was a professional witness trained in lying. Who told us in detail, in an available statement, how he was trained, who trained him and why he lied – to get a lighter sentence and get out of prison, Philippe La Rochelle said in court.

Thomas Bodstrom says reports and testimonies about the legal insecurity of Rwandan lawsuits should be against the guarantees the state issues when it requests the extradition of Rwandans.

Despite the abundant evidence, Rwanda has not, in principle, admitted a single mistake. But we have evidence from human rights organizations, from people who lived in Rwanda, and from experts. Should one then believe in Rwanda, which is such a notorious constitutional myth? He says they lie about almost everything.

dn him previously He interviewed Belgian lawyer Martin Witteveen who has worked for a long time on cases related to genocide trials in African countries. He highlighted how the regime in Rwanda has taken an increasingly authoritarian form there No one may contradict the official version of the genocide.

The genocide began in May 1994 and in chaotic forms killed mobs made up of members of the Hutu ethnic group from the Tutsi, the ethnic group to which President Kagame belonged. But in recent years, more and more reports have shown how Tutsis committed crimes during the genocide.

The man who now appears before the Swedish Supreme Court belongs to the Hutu group, but his wife is Tutsi. According to his lawyers, he has long participated in the organized opposition to President Kagame from Europe and North America.

Paul Kagame has been President of Rwanda for 21 years.

Paul Kagame has been President of Rwanda for 21 years.

Photo: Eric Espornson

Lawyers have submitted to the court photographs showing the 44-year-old as he bonds in a friendly manner with Victoire Ingabere, one of the most notorious critics of the Kagame regime. Injabir was sentenced in 2012 to eight years in prison in Rwanda. She was released in 2018 when she was pardoned, but was not allowed to leave the country.

For Rwandan prosecutors He wants the 44-year-old to be brought to justice for genocide, and Swedish lawyers believe he is politically motivated.

– Our client was on the side of Kagame in Rwanda when he was in opposition, but then changed his position, so he is seen as a traitor and an opponent, says lawyer Thomas Bodstrom

Opposition leader Victoire Ingabere during her trial in Rwanda in 2011.

Opposition leader Victoire Ingabere during her trial in Rwanda in 2011.

Photo: Chant Fabricatorian

The Swedish public prosecutor, RÅ, wrote in an opinion to the Supreme Court that there was no reason not to allow extradition. The RA is represented in the Supreme Court by Bodil Bassmann. Basman told DN that she did not want to comment on any details due to the secrecy surrounding the case and that she did not want to be prosecuted in the media.

It believes that the testimonies relating to fabricated witness statements in Rwanda that the Swedish defense invoked could be disregarded in the case in question.

– We are talking here about cases of extradition for genocide and other similar crimes. Then we also looked at case law in other countries, those that had delivered, and we believe no circumstances have emerged to suggest that this is the case in individual cases, says Boudl Basman.

So there are no fabricated witness statements in individual cases?

– Not as we see, not in this case.

Read DN News from Gothenburg.

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