Canadian gov't confirms deportation of Rwandan man
Leon Mugesera, accused of helping incite the Rwandan genocide, arrives for his immigration hearing to seek a judicial review and a delay of his expulsion from Canada, Monday, January 16, 2012 in Montreal. Mugesera lost a two-decade battle to stay in Canada and is now set to be deported.
Published Tuesday, January 24, 2012 3:29PM EST
MONTREAL - The Canadian government has confirmed the deportation of a man long accused of crimes linked to Rwanda's genocide.
After waiting nearly 24 hours, the government announced Tuesday that Leon Mugesera had been sent back to his native Rwanda the previous day.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the announcement in Montreal. He said that, for 16 years, Mugesera abused tools available to him to avoid deportation.
Kenney said all necessary steps have been taken to ensure Mugesera won't be tortured by current Rwandan authorities. Concern that he might face extra-judicial punishment had delayed his expulsion.
Mugesera is wanted in Rwanda for allegedly inciting genocide and for committing crimes against humanity.
Amid a flurry of legal activity, Mugesera lost two judicial battles Monday in provincial and federal courts, paving the way to his deportation.
A last-ditch attempt at obtaining a stay was rejected by the Federal Court, putting an end to a nearly two-decade legal fight that had gone all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Mugesera was a Rwandan political operative who delivered a fiery anti-Tutsi speech in 1992; he referred to them as cockroaches and suggested they should be exterminated.
While Canada was slow to confirm the deportation, the government of Rwanda applauded the news Monday.
"Leon Mugesera's deportation, while decades past due, is welcome news for a people committed to healing and justice," said a note from the Twitter account of Rwanda's Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
"Canada did the right thing."