High-level Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga,84, can be handed over to a United Nations tribunal for trial, a top French court ruled on 30 Septembere.
Kabuga is suspected of playing a major role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsi Rwandans were murdered by a Hutu uprising. Prosecutors accuse Kabuga of chairing a radio station that helped orchestrate the genocide, as well as working to create and fund a genocidal militia in the capital, Kigali. He used to be a wealthy businessman at the time.
The 84-year-old had evaded justice for 25 years but was caught outside Paris in May of this year.
The Court of Cassation in Paris upheld an order from a lower court to send Kabuga to a UN tribunal on charges including genocide, persecution and extermination.
He will now stand trial at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) based in Arusha, Tanzania. The MICT took charge of prosecuting Rwandan genocide suspects after the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) formally closed in 2015.
His lawyers had argued that he should not be extradited due to his frail health and claimed that the UN tribunal would be biased.
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Kabuga, arrested near Paris in May after 25 years on the run, has asked to face justice in France. But the Court of Cassation ruled there was no legal or medical obstacle to implementing an international warrant for Kabuga’s transfer to the Arusha-based tribunal.