PARIS (AFP) — France on Thursday sent Rwandan genocide suspect Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, who had taken refuge here, to the war crimes tribunal in Tanzania to face charges he took part in genocide, officials said.
Ntawukuriryayo, a former sub-prefect or regional governor, is accused by prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) based in Arusha, Tanzania of taking part in the massacre of thousands of Tutsis in 1994.
Prosecutors say he used his authority as a regional official to order aides to carry out killings, including a massacre near Gisagara in southern Rwanda where thousands of Tutsis had gathered after being told they would be safe there.
Ntawukuriryayo, a 65-year-old Hutu with French residency papers, has denied charges he took part in the genocide in which some 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis, were killed between April and July 1994.
A French justice ministry official told AFP on Thursday that "Ntawukuriryayo left France this morning and is due to be handed over to the ICTR" in Arusha later in the day.
Ntawukuriryayo had been sought by the war crimes tribunal since 2006. He was arrested last October in the southwestern French city of Carcassonne where he had been living openly since 1999 with his Tutsi wife.
He had been held in a detention centre in Paris since last year.
France's highest court of appeal in May turned down his request to block his extradition to Tanzania, prompting Ntawukuriryayo to turn to the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg.
But that court also refused to block his transfer.
Ntawukuriryayo is charged with acts of "genocide, complicity in genocide and direct and public incitement to genocide."
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