NEWS

Mugesera deportation decision held until Monday

01/20/2012 11:10 EST | Updated 03/21/2012 05:12 EDT

A Rwandan man facing deportation to his native country on charges of inciting genocide will find out Monday whether he'll get to stay in Canada a bit longer.

A Montreal law firm argued in Quebec Superior Court Friday that Canada is obliged to keep Léon Mugesera while a UN body examines his claims he will be tortured if he's returned to Rwanda.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture has requested Canada give it time to examine Mugesera's case, a process that could take a few months.

The federal government contends the UN committee's request is not binding, but says it will abide by the Superior Court ruling if it is in Mugesera's favour.

Ottawa planned to deport Mugesera last week but his hospitalization and the new legal challenge stalled that attempt.

Justice Michel Delorme says he will make a decision on Monday morning.

Mugesera, a Hutu, is wanted in Rwanda on charges of inciting genocide and crimes against humanity, stemming from an nflammatory anti-Tutsi speech he gave in 1992.

The speech is considered a key propaganda tool during a 100-day massacre of between 800,000 and one million Rwandans in 1994.

The Rwandan government has said it wants Mugesera to stand trial in Rwanda.

Mugesera and his supporters say it will be impossible for him to have a fair trial when he is considered an enemy of the current government.

Mugesera is currently being held in an immigration detention centre near Montreal after being deemed a flight risk.

No grounds for injunction, feds say

On Friday morning, government lawyers argued the grounds for an injunction were not met and Mugesera is not entitled to a hearing.

According to the federal lawyers, the UN convention against torture isn’t binding, even though Canada ratified the convention.

The government doesn’t need to respond or accept a request from the UN committee to put a hold on the deportation until it has a chance to evaluate the situation, lawyers argued.

The court decided to hear the injunction request despite the federal government's arguments.

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