Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court has adjourned for 21 days the case of Vincent Murekezi, a Rwandan genocide convict who faces extradition back to his home country to allow communication between Lilongwe and Kigali on removal process.
Magistrate Patrick Chirwa made the ruling when Murekezi appeared before the court on Tuesday following his arrest last week by Malawi police who were acting on a warrant of arrest issued by the Rwandan government because of the role that he played in the 1994 genocide.
Steve Kayuni, who was representing the Director of Public Prosecution, asked the court to give the state 21 days to finish the process of extradition and consultation between Malawi and Rwandan governments.
Kayuni also told the court that Murekezi has another charge of corruption dating back to 2008 involving the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) which he has to answer before his extradition together with Komani Nyasulu.
“Murekezi has another case of corruption which he was answering from ACB and MRA but he jumped bail in 2008 and fled the country to Zimbabwe where he was hiding a development which made it difficult for the state to wind up the case,” said Kayuni.
“He moved to Zimbabwe on a Malawian passport. And the issue we have all along had is that the police have been looking for him on corruption charges.This is because he left the country and was using a different passport,” said Kayuni.
However, lawyer for Murekezi Gift Katundu of Kita and Company argued that the state cannot bring in another case while they are hearing the current case of extradition, saying the state could have brought the case way back.
“The warrant of arrest could have been effected then. This warrant of arrest has been submitted to a wrong destination,” said Katundu.
But Magistrate Chirwa quashed Katundu’s argument, saying there is nothing unusual for the state to bring in another case while the accused is answering another charge, saying “an arrest warrant does not have timeframe”.
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On the extradition case, Kayuni argued that considering that under the international law, Malawi has all the obligations to extradite or prosecute Murekezi as stipulated under the principle “Either you Prosecute or Extradite”, he said there is need for the state to be given ample time to do all the processes of extradition.
He further said that considering that genocide is a serious crime there is need for the state to review all the documents from their Rwandan counterparts so that the law should take its course.
Katundu counter-argued that they were of the view that the state should be given 7 days to finalize the case an argument which was also quashed by the presiding magistrate.
Chirwa therefore gave the state 21 days to finalize its case because it involves jurisdictions from two different countries as such the state has to be given ample time considering that genocide is a serious crime.
Murekezi was convicted in absentia by the Gacanga court in Rwanda for the role he played in the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which about 800,000 Tutsi’s and moderate Hutus were butchered within a period of 100 days.
The Rwandan has been remanded back to Maula Prison waiting when the 21 days will elapse so that he comes back to court.
Murekezi looked so composed during both his coming to the court and going and even during court proceedings and was overheard saying that “God is great” and waved to his sympathizers before being taken back to Maula Prison.
The court was well attended by his fellow Rwandans and elders of the Glorious Light International and Bishop Abraham Simama’s wife NyaNthakomwa, a development which vindicated the connection between the Rwandese and the man of God.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :