NEWS

Mugesera wins court order delaying deportation

01/12/2012 04:48 EST | Updated 03/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Quebec Superior Court has granted a stay delaying the deportation of Léon Mugesera, a Rwandan politician accused of inciting genocide.

Mugesera was slated to be sent to the African nation Thursday to face criminal charges related to the 1994 killing of between 800,000 and one million Rwandans.

But the province's Superior Court intervened, ordering a stay on his deportation order, to allow the legal evaluation of a prior request from the United Nations' committee against torture.

It's the latest twist in a 24-hour legal roller-coaster to determine whether Mugesera stays or goes.

On Wednesday, the UN committee asked Ottawa to keep Mugesera here while it investigates his claims he'd be tortured in Rwanda if returned.

Mugesera was in hospital for a second straight day with an unspecified health issue that his lawyer said was stress-related. Radio-Canada reported that he may have overdosed on medication.

The Quebec City resident apparently fell ill Wednesday, shortly after a Federal Court ruled against his last-ditch effort to stay in Canada, and upheld a deportation order Mugesera has been fighting for nearly two decades.

"Dad is in critical condition," Mugesera's family said in a statement released Thursday by his lawyer's office.

Family urges Canada to respect UN request

A university professor and one-time Rwandan political operative, Mugesera gave a virulent, anti-Tutsi speech in 1992. If the deportation order is carried out, he would become the first Western refugee claimant to be sent back to Rwanda to face charges related to the genocide.

On Thursday morning Mugesera's family urged Ottawa to allow the United Nations to complete its investigation.

"We implore Canada to respect its international obligations as demanded by the (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights on Jan. 11, 2012," the family said in the short statement.

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