Canada deports Rwanda genocide suspect Leon Mugesera

image captionMr Mugesera is accused of making a speech which helped incite the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

A Rwandan man has been deported from Canada to Kigali where he faces charges of helping to incite the 1994 genocide.

Leon Mugesera has been fighting deportation for 16 years with a series of appeals, even after the Canadian Supreme Court upheld the order in 2005.

He faces charges in Rwanda of inciting genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from an incendiary anti-Tutsi speech he gave in 1992.

Mr Mugesera maintains that the speech was taken out of context.

He has previously said that he fears torture or death if deported.

Mr Mugesera's lawyers had asked for extra time for the UN Committee Against Torture to investigate whether he would be at risk of persecution if sent back to Rwanda.

But the Quebec Superior Court dismissed his final appeal on Monday.

"I am not aware of any outstanding court issues... we will remove him as quickly as legally possible," a Canadian federal government official told Reuters.

Mr Mugesera was then taken to an airport in Montreal by Canadian border-services agents, local media reported.

Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo later wrote on Twitter that he had left on a plane bound for Kigali.


The current Rwandan government has welcomed the court's decision.

In the 1992 speech Mr Mugesera, then a member of Rwanda's ruling Hutu party the MRND, allegedly told more than 1,000 party members that they should kill Tutsis and dump their bodies in the river.

He referred to Tutsis as cockroaches, and said they should be exterminated.

Many observers of the Rwandan genocide say the speech directly influenced the mass killings that ensued two years later, in which between 800,000 and one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus died.

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