Mugesera should not be charged: judge
A federal judge has ruled a Rwandan man living in Quebec City should not be charged with crimes against humanity. Lon Mugesera is accused of inciting hatred and genocide in Rwanda in 1992.
He is facing a deportation trial in Quebec City and the judge's decision means Mugesera can stay in Canada for now.
Lon Mugesera made a speech in Rwanda in 1992 and fled to Canada later that year. Both the Rwandan and Canadian governments say the speech incited murder and genocide.
Canadian immigration officials say he should be deported for lying on his immigration application.
In the federal court ruling, justice Marc Nadon says Mugesera should not face crimes against humanity charges. The judge has sent the case back to a lower tribunal of the immigration board for review.
Nadon also ruled the deportation hearings against Mugesera's wife and children should be stopped. Mugesera's lawyer Guy Bertrand says the federal government now has a responsibility to let Mugesera get on with his life.
"I'm really confident that the minister of justice will take his responsibility and put an end to this affair," says Bertrand.
But not everyone is happy with the decision. Patrick Habamenshi and about 65 members of the Rwandan community from Toronto travelled to Quebec City to see the case. He was hoping the judge would send Mugesera home to Rwanda to face a war crimes tribunal there.
"He had people killed and he knows he did that," says Habamenshi. "He knows that, he's sitting there. And everyone here knows that. That's where it becomes a mockery."
Immigration officials have two weeks to decide what they will do. Though no decision has been made yet, one spokesperson says this case is far from over.
Click here to see:
- previous Federal Court decisions in Mugesera's case
- a summary of the Immigration Refugee Board's decision ordering his removal from Canada