World

Rwandan general, head of intelligence services, refuses extradition to Spain for war crimes

  • Supporters of  Karenzi Karake, the Rwandan intelligence chief, hold placards outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, where he is due to appear, Thursday, June 25, 2015.  Karenzi Karake, a Rwandan national, is set appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court Thursday after being arrested Saturday, June 20 on a European Arrest Warrant on behalf of the authorities in Spain, where he is wanted in connection with war crimes against civilians. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    Supporters of Karenzi Karake, the Rwandan intelligence chief, hold placards outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, where he is due to appear, Thursday, June 25, 2015. Karenzi Karake, a Rwandan national, is set appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court Thursday after being arrested Saturday, June 20 on a European Arrest Warrant on behalf of the authorities in Spain, where he is wanted in connection with war crimes against civilians. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of  Karenzi Karake, the Rwandan intelligence chief, hold placards outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, where he is due to appear, Thursday, June 25, 2015.  Karenzi Karake, a Rwandan national, is set appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court Thursday after being arrested Saturday, June 20 on a European Arrest Warrant on behalf of the authorities in Spain, where he is wanted in connection with war crimes against civilians. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    Supporters of Karenzi Karake, the Rwandan intelligence chief, hold placards outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, where he is due to appear, Thursday, June 25, 2015. Karenzi Karake, a Rwandan national, is set appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court Thursday after being arrested Saturday, June 20 on a European Arrest Warrant on behalf of the authorities in Spain, where he is wanted in connection with war crimes against civilians. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of  Karenzi Karake, the Rwandan intelligence chief, hold placards outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, where he is due to appear, Thursday, June 25, 2015.  Karenzi Karake, a Rwandan national, is set appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court Thursday after being arrested Saturday, June 20 on a European Arrest Warrant on behalf of the authorities in Spain, where he is wanted in connection with war crimes against civilians. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    Supporters of Karenzi Karake, the Rwandan intelligence chief, hold placards outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, where he is due to appear, Thursday, June 25, 2015. Karenzi Karake, a Rwandan national, is set appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court Thursday after being arrested Saturday, June 20 on a European Arrest Warrant on behalf of the authorities in Spain, where he is wanted in connection with war crimes against civilians. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

A Rwandan military general who heads the country's intelligence service has refused to be extradited to Spain at a hearing in a London court.

Emmanuel Karenzi Karake is accused by Spain of war crimes. He was arrested at London Heathrow Airport Saturday by British police acting on a European warrant.

The 54-year-old general drew cheers from some in the Westminster Magistrates Court when he raised his clasped hands above his head upon arriving Thursday.

Karake is a close ally of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. He was one of 40 members of the Rwandan military indicted in 2008 on charges of terrorism and genocide by Spanish national Court Judge Fernando Andreu.

The extradition battle may take months. Rwandan officials have criticized the arrest as unjust and political.