Spain dismisses Rwanda case, abolishes universal jurisdiction

Spain’s supreme court has dismissed a high profile case against 40 Rwandan military officials indicted on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and other offenses committed in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 1990s.

But the court ruling, announced on Tuesday, included a proviso that 29 Rwandan officials accused of terrorism could still be prosecuted if the alleged perpetrators were on Spanish territory or ‘brought before the court.’

“The ruling recognized there were enough factual criminal elements to build a formal accusation against the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which has ruled since 1994, but said a trial in absentia was not possible until the accused were brought before the court, “ said Jordi Palou Loverdos, a lawyer for Spanish, Rwandan and Congolese victims in the case, told Digital Journal.

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