Rwanda: Kagame’s spy chief Karake arrested in UK

by Ann Garrison

KPFA Evening News broadcast June 27, 2015

Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s intelligence chief, Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, has been arrested with a European arrest warrant based on a Spanish indictment charging him with genocide, the massacre of Hutu civilians in Rwanda.


KPFA Evening News Anchor David Rosenberg: Rwandan intelligence chief Emmanuel Karenzi Karake was arrested last Saturday in London on a European arrest warrant. The warrant was based on a Spanish court’s 2008 indictment of Karake and 39 other top Rwandan officials for genocide – that is, the massacre of Rwandan Hutu civilians and refugees in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Emmanuel Karenzi Karake
Emmanuel Karenzi Karake

Karake is now being held for possible extradition to Spain. Rwandan President Paul Kagame bailed his intelligence chief out of jail for a million pounds, but he is now under house arrest at a London residence. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon invoked the principle of universal jurisdiction to indict former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998. Ten years later, Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu invoked the same principle to indict Rwandan spy chief Emmanuel Karenzi Karake and 39 other top Rwandan officials and officers for genocide, meaning the massacre of thousands of Hutu civilians in Rwanda and in refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Universal jurisdiction is based on the idea that genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity are universal and any court in the world may therefore claim jurisdiction to prosecute them. The Spanish indictment also held Rwandan officers responsible for the murder of Spanish priests and Spanish members of the organization Doctors Without Borders.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s intelligence chief, Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, has been arrested with a European arrest warrant based on a Spanish indictment charging him with genocide, the massacre of Hutu civilians in Rwanda.

The indictment is based on the sworn testimony of defectors from Kagame’s predominantly Tutsi army that, under Karake’s orders, thousands of Hutu civilians were systematically killed in seven different locations in Rwanda. The alleged crimes include the “mass incineration” of bodies in a park which was off limits to NGOs and U.N. personnel in Rwanda after July 1994.

In a half-hour-long speech punctuated by long pauses in Kigali, Kagame rejected European authority to arrest his spy chief.

President Kagame: I don’t, I don’t understand the grounds on which we talk about extradition. Extradition to where? What right does Spain or any country have in this matter, to try Rwanda? To try this head of s- … intelligence. What right did this, this country have to arrest him in this manner?

Cherie Blair
Cherie Blair

KPFA: Kagame also renewed his attack on the BBC documentary, “Rwanda’s Untold Story.”

Kagame: You have seen this BBC documentary, the so-called “untold story.” No, what they are talking about is not the untold story. The untold story is what underlies that documentary. The untold story is that these countries and those people, who are behind it in those countries, they want to change the narrative, the actual story of what has happened in Rwanda that they were so deeply involved in.

KPFA: The Spanish court said that it had enough evidence to implicate Kagame as well as the others, but that it could not indict him because he has head of state immunity.

Some Rwandans expressed outrage when it was announced on an official Rwandan website, in the Rwandan language, Kinyarwanda, that ordinary Rwandan citizens, most of whom are very poor, are being asked to contribute to a fund to pay Karake’s bail.

In another twist, British barrister Cherie Blair, the wife of former Prime Minister and Kagame lobbyist Tony Blair, has joined Karake’s defense team in the U.K. She will be defending against his extradition to Spain to stand trial for genocide.

For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News, Counterpunch and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News, KPFA Flashpoints and for her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at In March 2014 she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for promoting peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa through her reporting.

The BBC documentary “Rwanda’s Untold Story” exposed some of the lies told about Rwanda ever since1994. “The Deluge,” a film about genocide and the plunder of Central Africa, aims to bring much more of the truth to light. If 300 people contribute $15 a month for one year, this film can be completed.

Visit the website,, and like them on Facebook, Le Deluge Film – An African Holocaust.