London court frees Rwanda’s Intelligence chief

General Karenzi Karake aka KK, Head of Rwanda National Intelligence and Security Services is now a free man

General Karenzi Karake aka KK, Head of Rwanda National Intelligence and Security Services is now a free man

The Westminster Magistrates Court in London, United Kingdom has dropped charges against General Karenzi Karake, the head of Rwanda Intelligence Services who has been on bail after being arrested and detained in June for war crimes after the 1994 Genocide.

The court has dismissed an extradition request by Spain where the general had been wanted to answer charges of mass revenge killings after the Genocide, but there are reports that the Spanish authorities are the ones who have dropped the case against Karenzi instead.

The general was arrested on Spain authorities’ orders through Interpol after a Spanish Investigative Judge issued his Arrest Warrant in 2008.

The London Met Police was acting in accordance with the European Arrest Warrants issued by the Spanish Authorities in 2008 against General Karenzi and 39 other current and former high ranking officers of the Rwandan military.

In 2008, a Spanish judge Andreu Merelles indicted General Karake and other officers for alleged war crimes in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide.

Karenzi’s release has been welcomed by Rwandan government officials and ordinary Rwandans.

President Paul Kagame said via his twitter handle “Truth is really stubborn. It just chooses its moment”

Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs tweeted “Delighted! Gen. KK coming home! This was an unnecessary and abusive process…”

The Rwandan authorities especially President Kagame had condemned Gen. Karenzi’s arrest in June saying truth and would eventually prevail.

“How can you arrest our official without any basis of arrest? They (UK) don’t have any reason and ground for the arrest and this shouldn’t have happened in the first case.” A visibly irritated Kagame told parliamentarians and government officials in June.

Karenzi’s arrest sparked off protests as his supporters both at home and in the diaspora took to the streets and social media to voice their frustration, protestors besieged the UK High Commission in Rwanda for days.

The spy chief’s arrest on the other hand, was celebrated by Rwandan opposition groups in the diaspora and human rights organisations saying “time for justice had come.”

As Rwandans both within and outside Rwanda celebrate his release, the opposition in the diaspora and human rights groups who had campaigned are infuriated.

Rwandans have been mobilizing resources to have the country’s spy chief bailed out after a UK Court released Karake on a £1 million (about Rwf1.2 billion).

Despite the fact that the Rwandan government had paid bond money, Rwandans have been mobilizing resources under “Agaciro” or dignity fund to refund the government.

The Rwanda Private Sector federation took the first initiative, launching the fund on June 26th and announcing a contribution with so far over Rwf822million so far collected from different Private sector association countrywide. And another Rwf 500 million has been pledge.

Karenzi’s defence team included Cherie Booth, Former UK Prime Minister’s Wife.