France refuses to extradite Rwandan genocide suspect

Eugene Rwamucyo
Image caption The Rwandan government alleges that Eugene Rwamucyo took part in the country's 1994 genocide

A French court has blocked the extradition to Rwanda of Eugene Rwamucyo, a doctor suspected of involvement in the 1994 genocide.

Dr Rwamucyo is wanted over atrocities carried out in the country's southern Butare region.

The court in Versailles, just outside Paris, also freed Dr Rwamucyo, who had been arrested at a funeral in May.

French judges have ruled that suspects extradited to Rwanda cannot expect a fair trial.


Dr Rwamucyo's lawyer, Philippe Meilhac, praised his release as "a victory of law over politics".

But the doctor remains the subject of a complaint filed in Paris by the families of genocide victims alleging crimes against humanity.

An estimated 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were massacred in the course of the violence in Rwanda, which took place between April and July 1994.

In a landmark trip to the Rwandan capital Kigali this March, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that France would do everything possible to ensure that "all those responsible for the genocide are found and are punished."

Rwanda has repeatedly accused France of turning a blind eye to calls for justice and allowing genocide suspects to live comfortable lives in French towns and villages.

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