Rwanda: Rwanda Welcomes Re-Arrest of Genocide Suspect Karangwa

Faustin Nkusi, the spokesperson of the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), has welcomed the Netherlands’ decision to re-arrest Major Pierre-Claver Karangwa, who stands accused of genocide crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.

Karangwa, who was released in June this year, was re-arrested earlier this week in the Netherlands.

Nkusi told The New Times that Karangwa is one of the 18 suspects indicted by the NPPA for extradition from the Netherlands to Rwanda. His indictment, specifically for alleged genocide crimes committed in Mugina Commune, formerly part of Gitarama prefecture, was issued on March 10, 2012.

However, this year, the Dutch Supreme Court rejected Rwanda’s extradition request.

“The request was denied on June 6th, with the pretext being his defense claim that he would not receive a fair trial due to his political affiliation with FDU Inkingi and his former military background in the EX FAR,” Nkusi explained.

Furthermore, Nkusi mentioned that following this decision, the NPPA asked the Dutch Prosecution to prosecute him in order to dispense justice and address the impunity gap resulting from the failure to extradite him.

“NPPA shared his dossier and a list of witnesses with the Dutch Prosecution, which they relied on for their investigations. On August 12th, a team of police investigators led by a prosecutor visited Rwanda and conducted additional investigations, leading to his arrest for a domestic trial in the Netherlands,” he added.

Karangwa was re-arrested on October 2, and he is expected to appear before the examining magistrate on Friday, October 6th.

Karangwa has been residing in the Netherlands since 1998. However, in 2022, the Council of State permanently revoked his Dutch citizenship, which led to his initial arrest in connection with the extradition case.

Karangwa, a former chief of army intelligence, obtained Dutch citizenship in 2004. He worked as the facility officer at the Landstede Harderwijk school campus, located in the province of Gelderland.

Karangwa stands accused of being responsible for the mass murder of more than 20,000 people in his birthplace, Mugina, within the former Gitarama district.

Numerous witnesses of the Mugina killings, including former Interahamwe militia members who participated in the massacres and were subsequently sentenced, testified against the former army officer.

In addition to his involvement in the massacres, Karangwa is also accused of being responsible for the murder of the Mayor of Mugina, who attempted to prevent the genocide. Gacaca courts in his hometown sentenced him in absentia to life in prison.