British police arrested Rwandan intelligence chief Karenzi Karake at the request of Spain, where he is wanted in connection with war crimes. Karake, director general of the African country’s National Intelligence and Security Services, was arrested at London Heathrow Airport on Saturday, British police said on 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. Karake was remanded in custody to re-appear at the court on Thursday.
It was not immediately possible to contact Karake’s family or his lawyers outside of normal business hours in London. There was no response from the Rwandan Embassy in London. In 2008, a Spanish High Court judge, Fernando Andreu, accused 40 Rwandan military and political leaders, including Karake, of engaging in reprisal killings after the country’s 1994 genocide.
The judge indicted the officials for genocide, crimes against humanity and terrorism which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, including Spaniards.