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Canada judge rules for deportation of Rwanda war crimes suspect

A Canadian federal judge on Saturday ruled in favor of deporting a Gatineau man to Rwanda to face trial for suspected war crimes committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Henri Jean-Claude Seyoboka, a former soldier who joined the fight against the Rwandan Patriotic Front, came to Canada in 1995 seeking refugee status yet failed to disclose his military background.

He lived in Toronto with his family free of any investigations until he was interviewed by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 1998. Following questioning, an anonymous witness accused Seyboka of murdering a neighbor and her children who refused him sex at a roadblock. Seyoboka has denied such accusations and has argued that he will not face a fair trial if he is deported back to Rwanda.

Nevertheless, Federal Court Judge Danièle Tremblay-Lamer stated that it is time for Seyboka to face proper justice.

Numerous war crimes suspects have recently been put on trial for their involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Earlier this month a Swedish court sentenced a man to life in prison for his involvement and was found guilty of genocide, murder, kidnapping and attempted murder. Also this month two Rwandan mayors went on trial in France on charges of war crimes ad crimes against humanity committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

In January the ICTR formally closed after issuing 45 judgments. In September a court in Toulouse, France, refused extradition requests for Joseph Habyarimana, a Rwandan man facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

In January of last year two Rwandan police officers were sentenced to 20 years in jail for the murder of a Transparency International anti-corruption activist.

In July 2014 the ICTR unanimously affirmed a 30-year jail sentence for former army chief Augustin Bizimungu for the role he played in the genocide. In December 2012 the ICTR convicted former Rwandan minister Augustin Ngirabatware, sentencing him to 35 years in prison on charges of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and rape as a crime against humanity.


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