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Rwanda: Alleged genocide financier to be transferred to The Hague

The United Nations Residual Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of transferring to The Hague genocide suspect Félicien Kabuga described as the financier of the massacres, pending trial, instead of Arusha, Tanzania.Félicien  Kabuga was one of Rwanda’s richest men at the time of the 1994  genocide. He allegedly bankrolled the infamous Interahamwe, a Hutu  militia that slaughtered thousands of Tutsis between April and July  1994.

The 84-year-old was also one of the alleged operators of  Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, a radio station used to fan  hatred and incite killings of the minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The  ruling by a single follows an application by Kabuga’s French Lawyer  Emmanuel Altit on October 5 requesting the UN court to transfer Kabuga  to The Hague instead of Arusha for a number of reasons, including his  health, travel difficulties brought about by the New Coronavirus.

A  UN judge lain Bonomy ruled that Kabuga, who has been in a French jail  since May, should be sent to a detention unit in The Hague, pending  trial.

Altit argued that his client is facing challenges relating  to his health, separation from family and threat of the coronavirus  pandemic in Tanzania where the case is supposed to take place soon.

The  application followed a ruling by France’s highest court on September  30, 2020 to transfer the case of Kabuga, 87, to be tried at the residual  UN Residual Court affiliate in Arusha.

Court further said that  the current COVID-19 pandemic related protocols may have practical  implications on the initial appearance in view of the need for Kabuga to  quarantine for ten days on arrival and to undergo preliminary medical  assessments.

“As a result, this extraordinary situation could  impact the date for the initial appearance until this process is  completed. The Trial Chamber.

in close consultation with the  Registrar and the parties will set the date and modalities for the  initial appearance at the appropriate time following Kabuga ‘s transfer  into the custody of the Mechanism,” court ruled.

Indicted on  charges related to genocide and crimes against humanity by the  International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1997,  Kabuga was one of  eight remaining fugitives wanted by the tribunal.

Published on 28.04.2020

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