April 17, 2024


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Man in Norway arrested for genocide in Rwanda in 1994

In Nyamata Genocide Memorial there are clothes of Tutsis killed in the Genocide. /PHOTO: TOPAFRICANEWS

A 50-year-old Norwegian citizen, originally from Rwanda, was arrested by Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) and charged with genocide in his homeland in 1994, public broadcaster NRK reported Thursday.

The man will be detained for four weeks, two of which will be in full isolation, and he has no right to receive letters and visits, the report said.

Kripos believes there is reason to suspect the man participated in the killing of a large number of people, mainly Tutsi.

The suspect came to Norway as a refugee through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in 2006, Kripos said in a statement.

“A lot of investigation remains, including interrogation, review of seizures and further investigations. The case is being investigated with a goal to further prosecution in Norway,” said Espen Hanken, police attorney in Kripos.

According to the man’s lawyer, Brynjar Meling, he is not guilty.

“He has nothing to do with the genocide in Rwanda. It is a known case that there are a number of wrong and fake charges in the Rwanda complex. We have not come to terms with the charges yet, but he is aware that he has nothing to do with this,” Meling said.

The man, however, “wants to collaborate with Kripos, and therefore agrees to custody for a period of time,” the defender added.

Kripos conducts investigations of Norwegian or foreign citizens residing in Norway, who are suspected of committing war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

These cases are both complicated and time consuming, it said.

“The alleged crime usually occurred several years ago in countries that differ widely from Norway. The scene of a crime will often be old, destroyed or changed. Kripos is dependent on tight and close cooperation with the country where the crimes occurred, as well as other countries that are investigating similar cases,” Kripos said

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