Mugesera charged in Rwanda

After a lengthy legal battle in Canada over his deportation, Leon Mugesera has been officially charged in Rwanda with inciting genocide and crimes against humanity.
Leon Mugesera lost his final bid to avoid deportation on Jan. 23. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Suspected war criminal Leon Mugesera has reportedly been charged in Rwanda.

The long-time Quebec City resident, accused of inciting genocide in Rwanda, lost his final bid to avoid deportation on Jan. 23 when the Federal Court dismissed a motion for a stay of deportation.

Radio-Canada reported Mugesera made an appearance Thursday morning in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali.

He did not register a plea, saying he needed more time to find a lawyer.

He had been fighting deportation for more than 15 years.

Mugesera, 59, was wanted in Rwanda on charges of inciting genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from an inflammatory anti-Tutsi speech he is said to have given in 1992.

He came to Canada as a refugee in 1993 and was initially ordered deported in July 1996.

That triggered a legal battle that took him all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada where he ultimately lost in 2005.

Mugesera maintained that he would face certain death if returned to his homeland. His last appeal for a stay on the deportation was founded on waiting for the results of the UN committee on torture’s investigation into that possibility.

A Federal Court rejected that appeal.

Mugesera's trial in Rwanda is expected to begin at the beginning of April.