Felicien Kabuga, top Rwandan genocide suspect wants to be tried in France

20/05/2020
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16:33
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AP
Felicien Kabuga, top Rwandan genocide suspect wants to be tried in France
Skulls and bones from some of the estimated 10,000 Tutsis killed in a two-day massacre at Nyamata church during the 1994 genocide, are displayed in a crypt behind the church, now a memorial to the genocide, in Nyamata - Photo:Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Felicien Kabuga, top Rwandan genocide suspect wants to be tried in France

20/05/2020
16:33
AP
Paris
-A +A
Felicien Kabuga was arrested outside Paris on Saturday after 25 years on the run

One of the most wanted fugitives in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, Felicien Kabuga, 84, appeared before a French court Wednesday days after his arrest but a decision on his fate was delayed until next week.

Felicien Kabuga was arrested outside Paris on Saturday after 25 years on the run. He was brought into a Paris courtroom in a wheelchair, wearing a face mask. He had been living north of the city under an assumed name, shielded by his children.

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Kabuga, who had a USD$5 million bounty on his head, is accused of equipping militias in the genocide that killed more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus who tried to protect them.

Rwandan prosecutors have said financial documents found in the capital, Kigali, after the slaughter indicated that Kabuga, then a wealthy businessman, used dozens of his companies to import vast quantities of machetes used in the killings.

The Paris court quickly decided to delay until next week the hearing on whether to hand him to the U.N.’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals based at The Hague in the Netherlands.

The U.N.’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted Kabuga in 1997 on charges related to conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution, and extermination.

Defense lawyer Laurent Bayon said Kabuga wished to be tried in France, citing health reasons. He did not give details.

“We have eight more days to prepare his defense,” Bayon said.

“It is unacceptable to do such a fast procedure when justice has waited for 25 years. Justice can wait another 10 days before wanting to send it I don’t know where,” the lawyer added.

sg

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