KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Two Rwandan men accused of participating in the 1994 genocide against Tutsis have arrived in Kigali, Rwanda, following their extradition from the Netherlands, an official said Saturday.
The suspects — Jean-Claude Iyamuremye, 40, and Jean Baptiste Mugimba, 57 — were handed over Saturday to Rwandan authorities by Dutch officials at Kigali International Airport.
The suspects are considered to have played a key role in the Rwandan genocide in which over 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists, Richard Muhumuza, Rwanda's prosecutor-general, told The Associated Press in Kigali.
Their extradition follows a Dutch court decision that rejected their appeals that they could face torture if they were forced to return to Kigali. Both suspects have maintained their innocence.
"It has been a long drawn out process that has finally culminated in the successful transfer of the suspects to the Kigali Central Prison where they will await trial before the specialized International Crimes Chamber of the High Court," Muhumuza said. The special court was set up by the Rwandan judiciary to try persons accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity who were transferred from foreign countries.
In the Netherlands, Iyamuremye had been a resident of Voorburg while Mugimba lived in Leusden. The Rwandan government submitted an extradition request for Mugimba in 2012 and for Iyamuremye in September 2013.
Muhumuza said both Mugimba and Iyamuremye will be tried for genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, murder as a crime against humanity and extermination as a crime against humanity.
According to the indictment, Iyamuremye allegedly participated in attacks on Tutsis during the genocide as a leader of the Hutu extremist "Interahamwe" militia.
The victims were hunted down, chased from their homes and taken away to places where they were killed on a massive scale.
The Rwandan prosecution says one of the attacks in which Iyamuremye was involved took place at a technical school in the capital Kigali on April 11, 1994, when armed groups stormed the grounds of the École Technique Officielle and killed thousands of people.
Mugimba, as political leader of an extremist Hutu party then known as Coalition for the Defense of the Republic, allegedly was involved in compiling death-lists, supplying weapons to militia groups, and attacking Tutsis in and around Kigali.
Mugimba fled to The Netherlands in 1999 and was arrested in January 2014.