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UK judge shields 5 Rwandans accused of genocide

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For fear that they risk not getting a fair trial back home, a London judge has ruled that five Rwandan men accused of taking part in the country’s 1994 genocide should not be extradited to face trial.

After an extradition request from the Rwandan government, the five Rwandan men were held in the UK in 2013 although all of them denied involvement in the genocide which saw members of the Hutu ethnic majority in the east-central African nation of Rwanda murder as many as 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority.

Read also: Rwanda genocide suspect arrested in Congo

Vincent Brown, also known as Vincent Bajinya, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Celestin Ugirashebuja and Celestin Mutabaruka were accused of playing an active part in the killings.

District judge Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates’ Court said there was a real risk they would not get a fair trial in Rwanda but the Crown Prosecution Service indicated it would appeal against the ruling.

It could be recalled that an attempt to extradite four of the men, who are all of Hutu ethnicity, was thrown out by the High Court in 2009 on similar grounds.

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