Yesterday, Finland's State Prosecutor charged a Rwandan man with genocide. It is the first time the Finnish legislation on genocide will be applied. The trial will take place before a little district court in Porvoo, where the Rwandan man lived before he was arrested. The Rwandan man has been detained since April 2007 (the time period of detention without charges is normally not over three months in Finland). The defense attorney of the Rwandan man has claimed that some evidence against the Rwandan man has been obtained through torture. For more information, see e.g.,
http://www.vksv.oikeus.fi/en/Etusivu; http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2009/06/genocide_charges_for_rwandan_in_finland_768598.html; http://www.om.fi/en/Etusivu/Ajankohtaista/Uutiset/Uutisarkisto/Uutiset2009/1232607458297
And from neighbouring Sweden, a report that last week the Swedish High Court ordered the extradition of a genocide suspect to Rwanda to stand trial. Sylvere Ahorugeze was arrested in July last year in the Swedish capital Stockholm. Ahorugeze is a former director of the current Civil Aviation Authority and is accused of orchestrating killings in Gikondo, a Kigali suburb. Apparently, the decision is not subject to any appeal, but that a political determination is still required. Ahurugeze, who had been on an Interpol Red Notice, was first arrested in Denmark but was released over what Danish judiciary said was 'lack of incriminating evidence'.
According to news agencies, the verdict said that there were no legal obstacles preventing the accused to be extradited to Rwanda for trial. The Swedish court apparently considered the recent ruling of the British High Court denying extradition of four Rwandans from the United Kingdom.
There are also interesting developments within Rwanda, where legislation has been promulgated in response to the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. It will facilitate new applications by the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal to transfer cases to Rwanda. I'm still waiting on some more details. When I have them, I will post the details on the blog.
Thanks to Mikaela Heikkilä