Felicien Kabuga was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity because they were armed with fighter jets and killed 800,000 Tutsi.
The French Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on Wednesday that Felicien Kabuga, the financier for genocide in Rwanda, was handed over to the United Nations court in Tanzania to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.
UN prosecutors accused the former tea and coffee tycoon of funding the 100-day Rwandan Hutu fighters in 1994 and importing a large number of machetes to kill hundreds of thousands of Tutsi and moderate Hutu.
He was also accused of establishing the Miller Collins Radio and Television Station, broadcasting vicious propaganda against the Tutsi, and training and equipping an armed group leading a killing spree.
Kabuga got close to former President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose plane was shot down in Kigali and died, triggering a 1
Kabuga was arrested in Paris in May, ending a 20-year raid. He condemned allegations including genocide and incitement to genocide as “lie.”
His lawyer said that at the age of 87 he was too weak to be transferred abroad, especially during the dangerous coronavirus pandemic. The French court set his age at 84.
Kabuga’s legal team also argued that French law did not allow a thorough review of international arrest warrants, which violated the Constitution.
In June, a French court ruled that Kabuga should be tried in Tanzania’s International Criminal Tribunal (MICT), which took over the responsibilities of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) when it officially closed in 2015.
Kabuga’s lawyers appealed the decision on the grounds that they said he was weak and worried that the UN court would be biased.
However, the Court of Appeal of the French Supreme Criminal Court disagreed on Wednesday, which means that France will have a month to transfer Kabuga to MICT.
Before his arrest, Kabuga had been the most high-profile fugitive still sought by the UN Tribunal.
Attorney Emmanuel Altit said that after Wednesday’s ruling, the defense team will ask MICT to transfer Kabuga to The Hague instead of Arusha, “because his rights will be better protected in The Hague” .
At the hearing before the Supreme Court review, another Kabuga lawyer, Louis Bore, claimed that his client would not be able to receive treatment for diabetes, hypertension and vitiligo in Tanzania, which is an incurable disease that will erode the body. And cognitive ability.
Kabuga was indicted by the International Tribunal for Rwanda in 1997 for seven counts, which he denied.
Rwanda has expressed that it wants to see Kabuga be tried by its own court.
However, according to MICT prosecutor Serge Brammertz, the transfer of jurisdiction from MICT will require a decision by the United Nations Security Council. The Hague is also a hotspot for coronavirus infections and more restrictive measures have been implemented this week.
President Paul Kagame made his comments earlier this month and has spoken on national television for the first time since Kabuga was detained in May. The arrested person may be seen as the person who protects him and is unwilling to kill the old fugitive in his hands.
Rwanda itself has executed 22 executions. They were convicted for their role in the conflict and then abolished the death penalty in 2007, a move that facilitated the extradition of suspects from other countries to its jurisdiction.
Between 2005 and 2012, approximately 12,000 popular courts called “Gacaka” tried nearly 2 million people, of which two-thirds were convicted.
The European Court of Justice, especially the Belgian and French courts, also tried and sentenced the Rwandan genocide suspects.