Pressed to explain, Dutch Parliamentarians visiting Rwanda have said their country, which is home to a dozen of notorious Genocide suspects, needs more time to decide on extradition requests.
“We need enough time to take the wisest decision about the matter,” said Sharon Sesthuizen head of delegation told KT Press.
The delegation met President Paul Kagame August 18, and discussed Rwanda’s legal system performance.
The Netherlands is a key judicial partner, contributing about €34million in the past two years and has pledged more €30.2million for 2015-2017.
Rwanda has since 2010 issued 17 arrest warrants against fugitives of 1994 Genocide against Tutsi who sought refuge in The Netherlands.
Only one suspect, Jean Claude Iyamuremye, was set to be extradited to Rwanda in 2013 for genocide crimes committed at former ETO Kicukiro in Kigali, where thousands of Tutsi were slaughtered. Iyamuremye was never extradited.
“We are not a country where criminals should expect safe haven. But we are a country of peace and we need to always strike a balance between the two,” Sesthuizen has said.
Allain Mukurarinda, the Spokesperson of Rwanda’s National Public Prosecution Authority said that, “The Netherlands is working on cases of Rwandan genocide suspects according to their legal process and we cannot blame them on that.”
Mukurarinda said the suspects also have their right to defend themselves against extradition, and this has always delayed the process.
“We have visited prisoners and found them in good health,” Sesthuizen said adding that they will meet several organizations to discuss justice system in Rwanda, “so as to file balanced information about justice in Rwanda back home.”
Former Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda Leoni Cuelenaere, said that Rwanda’s judicial system has improved to international standards, despite criticism.
“Even Netherlands, the hosts of International Criminal Court is criticized and so is America,” she said in October 2014 while signing €20 million grant meant for construction of a specialized chamber for international crimes in Rwanda among other infrastructure.
The Dutch MPs will visit several projects supported by their government, including the GigaWatt Global Energy Field in Rubona Sector, Rwamagana district-East and farming projects.