Court dismisses allegations of Rwandan spies in Canada
A Canadian Federal Court has ruled that claims of Rwandan state agents pursuing government opponents living abroad are â€œpure speculationâ€.
The ruling was made after a decade long assessment of one â€˜Dick Patrick Muhendaâ€™ whom the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) alleged was involved in the Rwandan espionage program.
Muhenda arrived in Canada in 2000 and applied for asylum. However, in 2001 his refugee claim was denied weeks after he married a Canadian woman with whom they have children.
His immigration application was denied the following month. He appealed to the Federal Court, which recently ruled the governmentâ€™s decision was unreasonable. Court documents were obtained by the media this week.
The appeals judge wrote that while Muhenda had initially lied to Canadian authorities (he said he was living in Tanzania prior to the 1994 genocide when he was really in Uganda), he had later owned up to his misrepresentations and they were not relevant to his security assessment.
â€œIn addition, the officerâ€™s conclusions regarding the likely involvement of the applicant and his family with the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) are based on pure speculation, centred on nothing more than presumptions about Rwandans of Tutsi ethnicity of apparent means that were part of the diaspora in Uganda,â€ wrote Justice Mary Gleason, according to Canadian media.
His Canadian partner applied to sponsor him as a spouse but her application was approved in principle in 2002 and was sent for a security assessment that lasted for a decade.
Mitchell Goldberg, the defense lawyer, said on Thursday that Muhenda â€œhad three Canadian-born children and drove a bus for a living.â€
Canadaâ€™s Security Intelligence Service, which interviewed Muhenda claimed he had possible ties to the Rwandan government, Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and Rwandan Intelligence Service.Â But Mahenda and the Federal High Court have refuted all accusations.
The CBSA War Crimes Unit also determined there was insufficient evidence he had committed war crimes.