Rwanda: Kabuga Transferred to the Hague

Pictures of Felicen Kabuga on the U.S. State Department's website about fugitives from justice.
26 October 2020

Genocide mastermind Félicien Kabuga was on Monday, October 26, transferred from France to the custody of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) in The Hague, Netherlands.

The news comes few days after the UN court last week ruled that Kabuga, the man accused of financing the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, be transferred to The Hague.

Initially, the French Court of Appeal had ruled that Kabuga be transferred to Arusha, as had earlier been ruled by a judge at the mechanism, before the suspect put in a request to be tried at The Hague.

The former businessman requested that his arrest warrant and order for transfer be amended to provide for his transfer to The Hague, citing health risks associated with a long journey on the plane.

He argued that his transfer to Arusha posed "considerable risks to his health and safety" citing his advanced age and many medical conditions that require what he called "comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and intensive care and stresses."

Kabuga is currently 87 years old.

In particular, he cited the risks associated with the coronavirus, which would increase with a long-haul flight to Tanzania.

His request was granted by the Mechanism President, who asked that he is transferred to The Netherlands.

According to the Mechanism, it is not yet known when exactly Kabuga will make his first appearance before the court.

"His initial appearance will be held in due course before a Judge of the Trial Chamber assigned to his case," reads a statement from the Mechanism.

The genocide architect was arrested in May by French authorities on an international warrant for crimes related to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi after 26 years on the run.

Kabuga was indicted on seven counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution and extermination, all in relation to crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, in Rwanda.

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