Police have begun a murder investigation after Rwanda’s former spy chief was found dead in a hotel in South Africa.
Opposition leaders immediately accused President Paul Kagame of ordering his assassination.
The opposition coalition Rwandan National Congress said Patrick Karegeya, a former colonel and longtime Kagame ally in war who turned against him in peace, was found strangled in a room at Johannesburg’s plush Michelangelo Towers hotel.
A police statement said: “He was found dead on the bed. Preliminary investigations revealed that his neck (was) swollen. A towel with blood and a rope were found in the hotel room safe. There is a possibility that he might have been strangled.” It said his body was found on New Year’s Day.
Congress co-ordinator Theogene Rudasingwa said Mr Karegeya’s death follows a pattern of assassinations ordered by Mr Kagame.
The government has vehemently denied such charges, though Rwandan exiles say British, US and Belgian law enforcers have frequently warned them that their government is plotting to kill them.
Gunmen twice tried to kill Mr Kagame’s former chief of army staff while he was living in exile in Johannesburg in 2010.
Mr Rudasingwa said Mr Karegeya had gone to the hotel to meet a Rwandan man posing as a friend of the opposition.