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Rwanda genocide suspect appeals against extradition

Rwandan chaplain Emmanuel Rukundo was arrested in this Geneva church

(Keystone)

A Rwandan priest, arrested in Geneva on genocide charges, has appealed to the federal court to block his extradition to a United Nations war crimes tribunal in Tanzania.

Emmanuel Rukundo, a former Rwandan army chaplain who was working for a Geneva parish, was detained on July 12, at the request of the UN's Swiss war crimes prosecutor, Carla del Ponte.

Rukundo is accused of involvement in the country's 1994 genocide when extremist Hutus massacred an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

According to the charges, the 42-year-old chaplain compiled lists of Tutsis for killing and called for their extermination while he was working as an army preacher.

Rukundo, who denies the accusations, believes he will not be guaranteed a fair trial by the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.

His transfer to Africa could be delayed, as the Swiss court is expected to take several months before issuing a ruling.

The UN tribunal, which has been plagued by administrative difficulties and accusations of inefficiency, has so far tried only a handful of people, among them former Rwandan Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, who was sentenced to life imprisonment.

swissinfo with agencies


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