A man accused of taking part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide has said he wanted to face trial in the UK and clear his name. Skip related content
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Four accused of taking part in Rwandan genocide set free after winning High Court
Dr Vincent Brown – formerly Bajinya Brown – is one of four men set free on Wednesday after winning a legal battle against extradition.
Two High Court judges ruled there was “a real risk they would suffer a flagrant denial of justice” if returned to Rwanda to face trial.
On Thursday Mr Brown told BBC Radio 4′s PM programme: “I want to clear my name. If it was possible I would like to face trial in this country.”
He said the charges against him are, “pure fabrication” and while they hang over him he cannot get on with his life. “The judgment in this country from the High Court is very clear I cannot get a fair trial in Rwanda,” he said.
However, legislation governing the prosecution of such crimes in this country cannot be applied retrospectively and Mr Brown cannot be tried under current laws. A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Parliament did not consider it right to make the International Criminal Court Act 2001 retrospective. The International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction is itself not retrospective.
“The UK Government remains certain that tackling crimes of genocide requires international co-operation. The Government will continue to work with other countries, including with the European Union, to ensure that criminal justice systems around the world are designed to deal with cases of this nature. We will also consider the role of the international institutions in these matters.”
Mr Brown, a British national from north London and qualified doctor who had worked for a charity training nurses, was released on Wednesday after more than two years in custody.
The judges quashed extradition orders issued by the Home Secretary in August 2008 against Mr Brown; Charles Munyaneza, from Bedford; Celestin Ugirashebuja from Essex; and Emmanuel Nteziryayo, of Manchester. They were held under a memorandum of understanding in which Rwanda waived the death penalty and had been in custody since their arrest in December 2006.
The four men, all Hutus, deny allegations that they orchestrated the deaths of Tutsis during the genocide, in which 800,000 people died. They were accused of killing, or conspiring with or aiding and abetting others, to kill members of the Tutsi ethnic group “with the intent to destroy in whole, or in part, that group”.