Leopold Munyakazi. Photo: anngarrison.com via Bing.
Leopold Munyakazi. Photo: anngarrison.com via Bing.

Leopold Munyakazi convicted in Rwanda of genocide; given life: On 14 July 2017, Leopold Munyakazi was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide by the Intermediate Court of Muhanga. He had found asylum in the United States in 2004 but was extradited to Rwanda in 2016.   (WHIO7) 

UK High Court rejects extradition of 5 genocidaire suspects to Rwanda based on fair trial grounds: The Government of Rwanda was unsuccessful in its appeal against the decision of the Senior District Judge not to permit the extradition to Rwanda of the five respondents (Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Vincent Brown (Aka Bajinya), Charles Munyaneza, Celestin Mutabaruka and Celestin Ugirashebuja) to charge them with offences related to the Rwandan genocide. The Rwandan Government submitted that the Senior District Judge wrongly concluded that their extradition was incompatible with Article 6 of the ECHR (and thus Section 81(b) of the 2003 Extradition Act 2003) and that the extradition of Mutabaruka was barred by Section 80 of the Act (double-jeopardy). The respondents, cross-appealing, said the Senior District Judge had, or should have, found that there was a risk the Government would interfere with the judges who would try them and that there remained a real risk that witnesses would be too intimidated to come forward. Nteziryayo, Brown, Mutabaruka and Ugirashebuja each also cross-appealed on individual grounds. The High Court found that the rule on double-jeopardy barred the extradition of Mutabaruka and Nteziryayo. The Court upheld the Senior District Judge’s conclusion that, if extradited, the respondents would be at risk of a flagrant denial of fair trial. The Court found that several factors pointed to a high level of risk of pressure on the judiciary, including the authoritarian nature of the Rwandan regime, evidence of threats arising from criticisms of the regime in the context of the justice system and the experiences of defence witnesses in genocide cases. Given the risk, the Court considered it vital that defendants charged with genocide-related offences are represented well. It found that the decision that defence witnesses would be sufficiently available was reasonable, assuming vital safeguards and adequate representation were ensured. Overall, the arrangements for defence in Rwanda were considered inadequate to mitigate the risk of a flagrant denial of justice. It invited the Rwandan Government to seek to persuade the Court that conditions would be put in place sufficient to overcome that bar to extradition. (UK High Court decision)

Post by: Clementine Rendle