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Denmark Arrests Wanted Rwandan

February 15, 2000

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ A former Rwanda army captain charged with genocide and participation in the 1994 killing of 10 U.N. peacekeepers was arrested Tuesday, the Justice Ministry said.

The arrest by Danish police followed an extradition request by the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which investigates crimes against humanity committed in that African nation during the massacres five years ago.

An estimated 500,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus, were slaughtered by the Rwandan Hutu military and allied militia in an approximately 100-day bloodbath. It ended when Tutsi-led rebels won power in July 1994.

The captain allegedly took part in murder and mass rape, and also in the deaths of the U.N. soldiers from Belgium, the ministry said. His identity not publicly disclosed.

The deputy chief constable of Ringkoebing police, Karsten Laub, said the suspect, who is in his early fifties, ``had lived in Ringkoebing for some time.″ It was unclear on what visa he entered Denmark.

The city of Ringkoebing is located 200 miles west of the capital Copenhagen.

The suspect was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. Police were expected to request that he be kept in custody while they investigate his possible extradition to the tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania.

``The arrest should be seen in connection to a similar arrest made in London a little more than a week ago for the tribunal,″ Jacob Scharff of the ministry of justice said. On Feb. 5, British police arrested Tharcisse Muvunyi, 46, of Rwanda on charges of genocide.

Since its establishment in late 1994, the U.N. tribunal has delivered seven verdicts. It is holding 39 people in custody in Arusha.

Rwanda has been conducting its own trials. More than 125,000 suspects are in jail. So far, more than 1,500 have been tried. The first 22 people condemned to death were executed in April 1998. The international tribunal does not have the death penalty.

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