UK court frees Rwandan spy chief after Spain extradition arrest

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 10, 2015 11:38 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - A British court has freed Rwanda's intelligence chief Karenzi Karake, officials said on Monday, after he was arrested in June on a warrant issued in Spain where he was wanted over alleged reprisal killings after the 1994 genocide.

Officials did not immediately provide further details but a fuller statement from Britain's Crown Prosecution Service was expected shortly.

Rwanda had condemned as an "outrage" the arrest of Karake. He had been granted bail by a London court pending extradition proceedings.

Karake was part of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the then-rebel force that halted the genocide and now runs the country. To his supporters, Karake is a hero who helped stop the slaughter of 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis.

The Spanish warrant stemmed from a lengthy indictment issued by a judge in 2008 which accused 40 senior Rwandans, including Karake, of war crimes in the aftermath of the genocide. Karake was also accused of ordering the killing of three Spanish volunteers from a medical charity in 1997.

Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a tweet she was delighted Karake would be coming home.

"This was an unnecessary and abusive process," she said.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison)