Felicien Kabuga, a key Rwandan genocide fugitive, is because of seem earlier than a Paris court docket days after police swooped on his hideout in a suburb of the French capital.
The 84-year-old is accused of financing Hutu militias that massacred some 800,000 Tutsis and their average Hutu allies over a span of 100 days in 1994.
Kabuga, a Hutu businessman and as soon as considered one of Rwanda’s wealthiest folks, was indicted in 1997 on seven legal counts together with genocide.
At Tuesday’s listening to, which is procedural, the court docket will set out the authorized course of earlier than passing the case to investigative judges who will determine whether or not at hand over Kabuga to a United Nations court docket dealing with alleged crimes in opposition to humanity.
A minimum of one France-based genocide sufferer help group mentioned it was contemplating authorized motion to unearth how Kabuga was capable of go underground in France and what assist he had obtained.
“He was our Klaus Barbie, our [Adolf] Eichmann,” mentioned Etienne Nsanzimana, president of help group Ibuka France, referring to 2 outstanding Nazi warfare criminals.
“How did he stay on the run for 26 years? For how many years was he in France and receiving help to live comfortably. I don’t think it was just his family,” Nsanzimana added.
Kabuga was arrested in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday in Asnieres-sur-Seine on the outskirts of Paris. France’s justice ministry has mentioned he lived beneath a false identification.
It isn’t identified when or how Kabuga, who had a $5m US reward on his head, entered France.
“Since 1994, Felicien Kabuga, known to have been the financier of Rwanda genocide, had with impunity stayed in Germany, Belgium, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, or Switzerland,” a justice ministry assertion mentioned.
His capacity to cover to evade a world manhunt for greater than 20 years has raised questions over whether or not he had accomplices exterior of his household.
“It is difficult to imagine he could have escaped into French territory without the help of accomplices,” mentioned Patrick Baudoin of the Worldwide Federation for Human Rights. The federation has supported survivors within the prosecution of different Rwandan genocide suspects residing in France.
Moussa Faki, chairperson of the African Union Fee, welcomed the information of what he described as a “landmark arrest”.
“This latest development is, indeed, a milestone in our collective efforts to ensure that such heinous crimes against humanity never happen again,” Mahamat mentioned on Monday.
Phil Clark, a professor at SOAS College of London, mentioned the arrest was vastly important as Kabuga performed an important position within the mass killings by creating the infamous Interahamwe militia in addition to a radio community that despatched out chilling incitements to homicide.
“The genocide could not have happened without Kabuga. He basically bankrolled the entire genocide,” Clark informed Al Jazeera.
“He mainly produced, created and funded the militias that carried out most of the largest massacres in the course of the genocide.
“He also bankrolled the main ‘hate’ radio station that incited many of the key massacres, and he also enabled the import of about 500,000 machetes, without which the killing spree would have been impossible. Without Kabuga, the genocide couldn’t have happened.”
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