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Suspected Rwandan war criminal to remain in custody

Emmanual Rukundo was working for this church in Cologny, near Geneva


The Swiss Federal Court has thrown out an appeal by a suspected Rwandan war criminal, who claimed that his arrest and imprisonment were illegal.

The court refused to release the former army chaplain, Emmanuel Rukundo, who was detained last month in Geneva on a warrant issued by the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Arusha, Tanzania.

The 42-year-old Catholic priest is accused of genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 civil war.

He was one of three suspects arrested on the same day in three different European countries. Rukundo had been working as a vicar for the Catholic parish of Cologny.

The Church has refused so far to condemn Rukundo's past.

The UN court suspects the priest of being behind the deaths of thousands of Tutsis. He is thought to have distributed lists containing the names of Tutsis, facilitating the persecution and murder of these people.

The Swiss tribunal turned down Rukundo's request to be released from custody, saying that procedures for the extradition of war criminals had been followed correctly.

The Rwandan has another appeal against his extradition to Arusha still pending.

swissinfo with agencies


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