Spanish Court Strikes Down Indictments of Rwanda Army Chiefs

The Government of Rwanda has welcomed the decision by the Spanish Supreme Court to dismiss 40 indictments of Rwandan officials, buy more about visit upholding the January 2015 ruling of Spain’s National Court.

Rwanda’s Minister of Justice Johnston Busingye said in a statement on Thursday that the Spanish Supreme Court “has done the right thing, pilule ” adding, “There was never any basis for the indictments in the first place.”

He said the indictments and warrants of arrest were a “blatant abuse of universal jurisdiction.”

In 2008, Spanish judge Andreu Merelles’s indicted 40 high ranking Rwanda Patriotic Force (RPF) officers on charges of committing atrocities in Rwanda and DRC.

This led to the dramatic arrest of Rwanda’s Intelligence Chief, Gen Karenzi Karake in London in June this year, sparking off outrage from Kigali.

London said then that Karake was held in connection with the Spanish court’s warrant of arrest on allegations of ordering a string of massacres during his reign as head of military intelligence after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Gen Karenzi’s arrest, which President Kagame said threatened Rwanda’s national security, raised concerns that that RPF senior officers’ freedom was at stake especially while on foreign duty.

The Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling issued on September 10 squashed the lower court’s arrest warrants but orders that the case be closed.


Busingye said for years, forty Rwandan Individuals have endured sustained persecution at the hands of an Investigating Judge “whose radical motives and actions have now been definitively overturned and halted by the highest court in Spain.”

“It’s gratifying that we can finally move on from this unfortunate episode. Rwandans will continue to build an enduring relationship of trust, friendship and cooperation with the Spanish people and the country’s institutions,” said the Rwandan government.

Kigali said Spanish Judge Merelles’ actions were politically motivated.

In its decision, the Supreme Court halted investigations by the judge in Spain.

This, officials said, was “equivalent to recognition of Rwanda’s primary jurisdiction over the matter.”

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