Rwanda to send witness in Malawi for Murekezi extradition case

Rwanda top prosector Fautin Nkusi has said they will comply with the request from their Malawi counterparts to send witnesses  to testify on the documentary eveidence it sent in the on-going extradiction case of genocide suspect Vincent Murekezi.

Murekezi facing extradition to Rwanda. – Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times
Murekezi lawyers: Katundu and Kiata (right) leaving court- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times

Nkusi said the evidence it sent to Malawi directorate of prosecuton was “authentic” and that they are ready “to defend it in the Malawian court.”

The Lilongwe Magistrate court on Friday  ruled that the State should bring at least one out of the possible three witnesses from Rwanda to testify.

Defence team which comprises Gift Katundu, Chimwemwe Sikwese and led by Wapona Kita asked the court not to accept the evidence based on documents allegedly sworn by three officials from Rwanda which was tendered by state lawyer, Steven Kayuni arguing it will be un-procedural if it accept the documents based evidence.

Kita told the court that Extradition act of Malawi section 9 subsection 1 demands that for the case to proceed the state witnesses must swear their affidavits and record their statement before the court in presence of the accused and gives a chance for the accused to cross examine the witnesses and he prayed to court not to accept the witness evidence based on documents as the law says it is mandatory to have the witness in the dock to testify and tender the evidence before the accused.

He said it will be injustice and un-procedural to accept the documents purportedly from Rwanda which is said to contain evidence from state witnesses .

“The law allows the accused to cross-examine the witness,” argued Kita/

In his ruling, Senior Resident Magistrate, Patrick Chirwa agreed to the defence arguments and ordered the State to at least parade one out of the possible three witnesses in the court to tender the evidence in presence of the accused to accord the opportunity  the accused to cross examine

Meanwhile,  the court has set 3rd February, 2017 as the date it shall hear another preliminary matters surrounding the Extradiction act of Malawi if the court can proceed to hear the matter and if there’s any agreement between Malawi and Rwanda to extradite people between the two countries

SRM Patrick Chirwa has asked the state and defence to address the court on the extradiction protocol between Malawi and Rwanda before the case proceeds as the defence argues there’s no any agreement that was signed between the two countriesand that Extradiction Law of Malawi don’t include Rwanda as one of the countries Malawi can extradite people and under the same Extradiction law of Malawi genocide is one of the cases that is not extraditable.

If the court rules in favour of the defence it might be the end of the case as the court can’t proceed to hear the extradiction case since it can’t send Murekezi to Rwanda in absence of the extradiction protocol between the two countries and using the Extradiction law which says genocide is not extraditable offence.

Police arrested Murekezi on December 8, 2016 after pressure from Concerned Citizens  to have the Rwandan extradited over a genocide allegations.

Murekezi has lived in Malawi since 2003 and has Malawian citizenship.

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7 years ago

genocide in Rwanda occurred in 1994.Murekedzi has been leaving in Malawi since 2003. so between 1994 & 2003 where has he been leaving?

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