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Britain Dismisses Extradition Bid for Rwandan Spy Chief

  • VOA News

FILE - Protesters calling for the release of General Karenzi Karake demonstrate outside British High Commission in Kigali, Rwanda, June 24, 2015.

FILE - Protesters calling for the release of General Karenzi Karake demonstrate outside British High Commission in Kigali, Rwanda, June 24, 2015.

A court in Britain has dropped a controversial extradition case against Rwanda's intelligence chief, who is wanted in Spain for war crimes.

The court ruling Monday means that General Karenzi Karake, a key figure in the government of President Paul Kagame, can return home.

The London court said that British law does not permit it to hear about alleged offences committed outside the country by non-British nationals.

Britain arrested Karake in June, acting on a Spanish arrest warrant that alleged the general was involved in war crimes in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. He was one of 40 senior Rwandans accused by Spain of being involved in the killing of a group of Spanish medical volunteers in the mid-1990s.

Karake was one of the main commanders of the Tutsi rebel group, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), which helped to end the Rwandan genocide carried out by Hutu extremists in 1994. The RPF is now the ruling party.

Karake's arrest prompted an angry response from Rwanda's government which said the charges against him were politically motivated.

Among the lawyers who appeared in court to defend Karake was Cherie Blair, the wife of Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Some information is from Reuters, AP and AFP.

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