Abstract

On 6 February 2008, the Spanish Investigative Judge Andreu Merelles issued an indictment charging 40 current or former high-ranking Rwandan military officials with serious crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and terrorism, perpetrated over a period of 12 years, from 1990 to 2002, against the civilian population, and primarily against members of the Hutu ethnic group. While the investigations were initially based on complaints from families of nine Spaniards who were killed, harmed or disappeared during the period at issue, the indictment was subsequently expanded to include crimes committed against Rwandan and Congolese victims, based on the universal jurisdiction doctrine. The indictment rules out the prosecution of Paul Kagame, arguing that he may not be prosecuted as long as he holds the position of President of Rwanda.

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