Mugesera being deported to Rwanda

Jan. 23, 2012 at 8:13 PM
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MONTREAL, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Leon Mugesera, the Rwandan accused of war crimes who has lived in Canada nearly two decades, is being deported after lawyers failed Monday to stop deportation.

Justice Michel Delorme of Quebec Superior Court denied Mugesera's request for an order that would have kept him in Canada while the United Nations Committee Against Torture scrutinized his case, The Globe and Mail reported Monday.

The Rwandan foreign minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, confirmed on Twitter Mugesera was headed to Kigali, The Toronto Star reported.

As Mugesera headed to the Montreal airport Monday, his lawyers made an attempt by telephone to persuade a federal court judge to stop the deportation. After a 2-hour hearing, the judge denied the request, as the federal court had already done once.

Mugesera and his lawyers said he would be tortured or killed if he returned to Rwanda to face trial. They noted Mugesera is an enemy of President Paul Kagame and said they doubted Mugesera could receive a fair trial in the country.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture had agreed to review Mugesera's case at the request his lawyers last week and urged Canada to delay his extradition, the Star said. Delorme ruled Monday Mugesera's case was a federal court matter and said had he granted the request to allow him to stay in Canada, it would have caused confusion and "tribunal shopping" among the courts.

The federal court had upheld federal lawyers' assessment that the risk Mugesera would face torture in Rwanda was minimal.

Mugesera moved to Canada in 1993 with his wife and children but was ordered to be deported after allegations surfaced he failed to mention his possible involvement in crimes against humanity. He had given a speech in Rwanda in 1992 urging Hutu followers to drive out and kill Tutsis, and 18 months later, at least 800,000 people were killed in the Rwandan genocide, the Globe and Mail said.

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