LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The governments of Malawi and Rwanda have on Thursday signed the Extradition Treaty aimed at transferring convicted persons between two nations for mutual justice delivery.
The two nations have gone further signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders and human resources development transfer of sentenced of persons of sports and culture.
The development comes barely a week after Malawi and Rwanda hosted a two day Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation (JPCC) in the capital Lilongwe where among others agreements and MoU on diplomacy health, agriculture, sport, art and culture, local government, education, defense and security has been signed.
This means that Malawi prosecution team will be able to resume the botched extradition case in which genocide suspect Vincent Murekezi was answering.
Two weeks ago Senior Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa dismissed the extradition case in which genocide suspect Murekezi was answering arguing that Rwanda is not on the list of Malawi’s designated countries in its Extradition Act as such could not proceed with the matter.
But addressing the media in the capital Lilongwe after the two nations signed the extradition treaty, Johnston Busingye, Rwanda’s Justice Minister and Attorney General said the framework will create enabling environment for operation of the two countries’ judicial systems.
Busingye added that the signed documents have opened up a concrete chapter for the two nations on diplomacy on various sectors including security, culture and defense among others.
“The signing of extradition treaty means that judicial systems between these two countries will operate smoothly. We have been facing a lot of challenges in justice delivery when a citizen of these nations commits an offence in another country, ” said Busingye.
“This is not long overdue as every journey starts with a single step. So, we are glad that after the two nations hosted the JPCC, the conference is bearing fruits. Rwanda is committed to implementing the signed agreements, treaties and MoUs”, assured Busingye.
In his remarks, Francis Kasaila, Malawi’s Foreign and International Cooperation Minister expressed gratitude for the milestone in the mutual understanding the two nations have saying this shows how Rwanda is committed to cooperate with Malawi.
Kasaila said the signed document will go along way to resolve the difficulties which had existed between the two nations on extradition of nationals who are in conflict with the laws.
After the signing of extradition treaty ceremony, Senior State advocates Steven Kayuni told The Maravi Post that Murekezi case was to be commenced as its team has a legal backing.
Kayuni disclosed that the case will resume soon after going through the signed documents of the two documents on extradition.
Murekezi was arrested on December 8, 2016 after Rwanda National Prosecution spokesman Nkusi Faustin confirmed that they have been asking Malawi for the extradition of Murekezi from 2009.
Later the state came again with fresh charges that the suspect absconded court appearance on corruption-related charges, jumped bail and sneaked out to Zimbabwe using a Malawi Passport in 2008.
Murekezi was therefore convicted on corrupt charges and is remanded at Maula Prison in the capital for the court sentence.