Wenceslas Twagirayezu, extradited to Rwanda by Denmark, has been acquitted of genocide charges.

Wenceslas Twagirayezu

The High Court Chamber in Nyanza, southern Rwanda, ordered the release of Wenceslas Twagirayezu, citing insufficient evidence from the prosecution to substantiate the charges against him. The court supported the documentation he provided, which demonstrated his presence in what was then Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, during the period in question.

Twagirayezu is the first individual acquitted by a Rwandan court among those extradited from various European countries to face genocide charges in Rwanda. He was extradited from Denmark in 2018 to face these charges.

Twagirayezu, a former leader of the CDR party in his native Gisenyi, was sent to Rwanda in December 2018.

He was accused of participating in the genocide, specifically in killings that occurred at the St. Fidèle School and the Busasamana Catholic Parish, both in Gisenyi, where he was alleged to have played a role in the deaths of approximately three thousand Tutsis. Efforts to extradite him to Rwanda began in 2014.

However, it took four years for his extradition due to his extensive use of legal avenues to resist being sent to Rwanda. Wenceslas Twagirayezu was the second Rwandan to be extradited from Denmark, following Emmanuel Mbarushimana.

Twagirayezu had been living in Denmark since 2001 and had obtained Danish citizenship. The Rwandan prosecution stated that it has sent approximately 800 international requests for the arrest of Rwandans suspected of involvement in the genocide.”