France approves Rwanda genocide suspect’s transfer to UN tribunal

2nd October 2020

A French court has ruled that Felicien Kabuga, who is accused of financing the 1994 Rwandan genocide, should be extradited to face trial in Tanzania, local media reported on Wednesday.

France’s top appeals court said Kabuga, 87, should be transferred to a UN tribunal to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, France 24 reported.

According to the report, the Cour de Cassation said it “considers that the investigating chamber was able to consider correctly that there was no legal or medical obstacle to the execution of the arrest warrant transfer order to the United Nations detention center in Arusha, Tanzania.”

Kabuga’s lawyers argued that his health was too frail to be moved to Tanzania, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also contended that the court had violated France’s constitution by failing to ensure a thorough examination of international arrest warrants, the report added.

A fugitive for decades, Kabuga was arrested on May 16 at his home in the Paris suburb of Asnieres-sur-Seine for his role as the alleged financier of the 1994 genocide in which over half a million to more than a million members of the ethnic Tutsi community were killed.

Kabuga was also a part of the inner circle of former President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose assassination ignited the carnage.

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