NEWS

Mugesera loses detainment fight

01/16/2012 02:56 EST | Updated 03/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Léon Mugesera lost his fight Monday to avoid detainment while he awaits deportation to Rwanda to face criminal charges.

The Immigration and Refugee Board ruled that Mugesera will remain at a detention centre until at least Friday, rather than return to his Quebec City home.

Lawyers for the Canada Border Services Agency said Mugesera is a flight risk because of his reaction after last week's deportation decision. They say he deliberately took medication to delay being sent back to Rwanda.

The former Rwandan politician was scheduled to be extradited last Thursday to face charges related to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, but the court delayed his deportation after he suddenly fell ill.

Mugesera's lawyers said that just because he took drugs last week doesn't prove he was trying to die. Mugesera went to hospital because he got bad news and not because he tried to kill himself, the lawyers said.

They also said he should be released from detention until his deportation because he is in a "better place then he was when he first found out he would be deported."

Mugesera was released from a Quebec City hospital Saturday and taken to a detention centre in Laval, Que.

He has been fighting for years to stay in Canada, arguing in court that he would face torture or death if he returns to Rwanda.

He has lived in Quebec City for nearly 20 years with his wife and two children.

Mugesera's deportation has been stayed until Jan. 20.

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