Genocide: Danish electric shock

20 July 2011 by Franck Petit

The first ever genocide case brought before a Danish court has produced the effect of an electric shock. The Roskilde county court (30 kilometres west of Copenhagen) found that “there is no legal basis in Denmark to prosecute foreigners charged with genocide in another country”, in a controversial decision published on Tuesday 31 May. 

In this landmark case, Emmanuel Mbarushimana, a Rwandan citizen aged 49, is suspected of taking part in the 1994 genocide when he was a primary school inspector in the town of Muganza, south of Rwanda. The investigation into allegations that Mbarushimana committed genocide is still ongoing and an indictment has yet to be issued.

Mbarushimana has been living in Denmark since 2001. He was granted asylum, under the patronym Kunda, when he was arrested last December in Roskilde, where he was living. In particular, he is suspected of planning killings during meetings with Elie Ndayambaje, former mayor of Muganza, who is awaiting judgement at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, in the Butare Prefecture group trial.

Mbarushimana’s defence counsel, a prominent lawyer and politician in Denmark, makes no secret of the fact he wanted to create a salutary schock in Denmark by asking the Roskilde court to drop the genocide charges against his client.

Want to read more?

We have tailor-made memberships for students, individuals, groups of professionals and large companies and organizations. A subscription entitles you to receive the International Justice Tribune every two weeks as well as become a member of the Justice Tribune Foundation, supporting independent reporting on international justice.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

article
07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

article
07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

article
07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

article
07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.