Four men accused of participating in the infamous 1994 Rwanda genocide were freed by a British court on grounds if they returned to Rwanda it would be impossible for them to be accorded a fair trial. The justices ruled to accept the extradition request from the Rwanda government would be in violation of Article 6 of the European convention on human rights which safeguards the right to a fair trial. The men are accused of killing or conspiring to kill members of the Tutu ethnic group. Lord Justice Laws and Lord Justice Sullivan ruled there was concern over the “impartiality and independence” of Rwandan courts. Some witnesses claimed they were afraid to testify in support of the four men because they would then face being placed on trial themselves.
This is certainly a complex issue, the men are accused of participation in the Rwanda genocide but they have a right to a fair trial. We have learned from the Bush administration that accusing someone does not mean the person is guilty. On the other hand, what if they were guilty and escaped punishment because their rights were being protected?