General Karenzi Karake Fights Extradition to Spain

1080px-Flag_of_Rwanda.svgGeneral Karenzi Karake, the head of the Rwandan National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), has vowed to fight extradition from the United Kingdom to Spain.

General Karake was arrested in London on 20 June 2015, pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by the Spanish authorities. He is accused of:

  • ordering massacres in Rwanda, following the 1994 Rwandan Genocide;
  • genocide, crimes against humanity and terrorism; and
  • ordering the killing of Spanish aid workers in 1997.

General Karake contends that the charges that he faces in Spain are politically motivated.

At a hearing before District Judge Purdy at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, on 25 June 2015, General Karake refused to consent to extradition, following which, a two-day extradition hearing was fixed to commence on 29 October 2015.

General Karake was granted bail, subject to the following conditions:

  • a £1m surety;
  • daily police reporting conditions;
  • restrictions on his residence, to a house owned by the Rwandan High Commission;
  • a curfew between 20:00 and 08:00; and
  • surrender of his passport.

District Judge Purdy, in a judgment reported by the press, said that the full extradition hearing would be “complex” and include “detailed evidence on diplomatic immunity and the agreement under which the UK consented” to General Karake’s entry into the UK.

It is reported that General Karake was originally in the UK to meet the head of MI6. Rwandan President Paul Kagame has condemned the arrest, accusing the UK of “arrogance and contempt”.

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