Seyoboka Jean Claude arrives in Rwanda to face genocide trial

Canadian authorities have deported Jean Claude Seyoboka to Rwanda where he will stand trial for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Escorted by Canadian deportation authorities, the suspect, who is accused of Genocide, extermination and murder as crimes against humanity as indicated on the charge sheet, arrived at Kigali International Airport and handed over to Rwanda National Police (RNP).

Seyoboka, a former soldier in the Ex-Forces Armees Rwandaise (Ex-FAR), had his refugee status revoked by the Canadian Immigration authorities after he had deliberately failed to mention his army links.

It was later found that he also participated in the massacres and the court ruled that he should be deported and face trial in Rwanda.

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“The National Public Prosecution Authority guarantees a fair trial to Seyoboka in accordance with the national legislations and other international legal instruments as ratified by Rwanda,” said the Prosecution’s spokesperson, Faustin Nkusi.

“We seize this opportunity to thank the relevant authorities of Canada for the deportation and the continued cooperation in matters of legal assistance and making an effective contribution to the global efforts of eliminating impunity,” he added.

The suspect will be in police custody for questioning pending the transfer of his dossier to the prosecution – a process that won’t exceed five working days as stipulated by the laws.

Prosecution accuse Seyoboka of holding and participating in meetings preparing the genocide and for having participated in the extermination 72 Tutsis in Nyarugenge and supervised several killings.

In 2007, the Gacaca court of Nyarugenge sector tried in absentia and sentenced him to 19 years in jail for his role in the genocide.

Prosecution later issued an international arrest warrant against Seyoboka, however, according to Nkusi, “in article 8 of the organic law terminating gacaca courts provides that the decisions rendered by the gacaca courts will be nullified and the trials will start afresh by the competent court.”

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Seyoboka arrived in Canada in 1996, and claimed refugee protection which he was granted. He then applied for permanent residency status.

Seyoboka is the son-in-law of Colonel Elie Sagatwa, one of the leading masterminds of the Genocide and brother to former First Lady, Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana.

In 2012, the same country deported Léon Mugesera to be tried in Rwanda and his case lasted for four years. He was found guilty of crimes related to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and sentenced to life in prison.

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