Finland refuses to extradite Rwandan man

finland-coat-of-arms2A Rwandan Baptist preacher accused of genocide during the country’s brutal 1994 civil war will not be extradited from Finland because it is feared he will not receive a fair trial in Rwanda. The man, whose name is said to be Francois Bazaramba by the Rwandan government, stands accused of overseeing the murder of 5,000 Tutsis in Nyakizu.

The suspect moved to Finland in 2003, and was arrested in April 2007 on suspicions of carrying out the massacre in question. He has been in Finnish police custody ever since. Rwanda requested he be sent back in April 2008, but the Finnish Justice Ministry decided to fall in line with the 2008 ruling by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that prohibits “the referral of three pending cases to Rwandan courts … since it was not satisfied that the defendants would receive a fair trial in Rwanda.”

Some 800,000 people were massacred during the 1994 civil war in Rwanda. The AFP news agency reports Germany and France have also recently refused to extradite people to Rwanda on the same grounds being used by Finland’s government. If Finland does decide to officially charge the man, whose name they have yet to reveal, the trial would take place in Finland.