Rwanadan President Paul Kagame’s head of intelligence was arrested by British police at London Heathrow Airport on Saturday, officials announced Monday.
"Karenzi Karake, 54, a Rwandan national appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court ... after being arrested on a European Arrest Warrant on behalf of the authorities in Spain, where he is wanted in connection with war crimes against civilians," the police said in an emailed statement.
Karenzi , the director general of the National Intelligence and Security Services, is being held for charges levied by a Spanish court in 2008 for genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is accused of orchestrating large-scale massacres after Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. He is also allegedly killed three Spanish nationals and a Canadian priest.
Lawyer Palou-Loverdos hailed the arrest, saying, “This means that Rwandan, Spanish and Congolese victims killed in Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1994 to 2000 are officially recognized.”
He added, “It means this hidden truth is somehow revealed and that there is hope for justice after all these obstacles.”
The Rwandan government fired back at the news, calling it an “insult.”
"We take strong exception to the suggestion that he's being arrested on war crimes," Williams Nkurunziza, Rwanda's High Commissioner to the UK, told the BBC World Service.