High Rwandan genocide suspect and financier Felicien Kabuga on trial

Felicien Kabuga, one of many final fugitives accused of committing the Rwandan genocide, refused to seem in courtroom at the beginning of his trial on Thursday. and the deliberate function in that genocide,” Prosecutor Rashid S. Rashid instructed the UN Tribunal.

An 87-year-old Rwandan accused of encouraging and financing the nation’s 1994 genocide will go on trial in a United Nations courtroom Thursday, practically three many years after the 100-day bloodbath that left 800,000 folks lifeless.

Felicien Kabuga is without doubt one of the final genocide fugitives to face justice, and the beginning of his trial marks a significant day for the Rwandans who survived the killing or had their households murdered.

It’s by no means too late for justice to be served, mentioned Naftal Ahishaki, govt secretary of the genocide survivor group often known as Ibuka.

“Even with cash and safety, one can’t get away with genocide,” Ahishaki mentioned in Rwanda earlier than trial Thursday on the Worldwide Residual Mechanism for Legal Tribunals in The Hague.

The mass homicide of the Tutsi minority in Rwanda erupted on April 6, 1994, when a aircraft carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down and crashed within the capital, Kigali, killing the chief who, like nearly all of Rwandans, was of Hutu ethnicity. Kabuga’s daughter married Habyarimana’s son.

The Tutsi minority was blamed for the downing of the aircraft. Teams of Hutu extremists started massacring the Tutsis and their supposed supporters, aided by the military, police, and militia.

Kabuga’s 15-page indictment alleges that, as a rich businessman with shut hyperlinks to the Hutu political elite, he incited genocide via the broadcaster he helped discovered and financed, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). He was additionally accused of paying for weapons, together with machetes, that the militia used to kill Tutsis and their supposed supporters.

The indictment says Kabuga and others on the radio station “managed RTLM in a way that elevated hatred and violence towards Tutsis and others perceived as ‘companions’ or ‘allies’…and agreed to disseminate an anti-Tutsi message with the intention of eliminating the Tutsi ethnic group in Rwanda” .

In some instances, the radio offered areas for the Tutsi in order that they might be tracked down and killed, in accordance with the indictment.

“RTLM broadcasts glorifies this violence, celebrates the killings, praises the killers, and encourages the perpetrators to proceed the violence at roadblocks and different areas,” the indictment mentioned.

It additionally accuses him of arming and supporting extremist Hutu militias, together with a unit often known as the Interahamwe of Kabuga.

Kabuga is accused of genocide, incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide in addition to persecution, extermination and homicide. He has pleaded not responsible. If convicted, he faces a most sentence of life imprisonment.

Two hours of courtroom time a day after years of evading worldwide efforts to trace him down, Kabuga, who had a $5 million bounty on prime, was arrested close to Paris in Could 2020. He was flown to The Hague to face trial within the remaining mechanism. , which is a courtroom that offers with the remaining instances from the presently closed UN courts in Rwanda and the Balkan struggle.

Kabuga’s attorneys argued unsuccessfully that he was unfit to face trial. Nevertheless, on the recommendation of the docs who examined Kabuga, the operation would solely final for 2 hours a day.

Yoland Mukakasana, a genocide survivor and author who misplaced her complete household within the genocide, mentioned the case got here too late for the various survivors who’ve died because the bloodbath.

“Women and men of Kabuga’s age had been present in mattress and murdered. Disgrace on his sympathizers who cited his previous age as a purpose to not (trial).”

Genocide survivor Justin Rujabua instructed The Related Press that 5 members of his household bumped into hiding for a number of days throughout the genocide till Kabuga radio station revealed their whereabouts.

“When their names had been learn on the radio and their hiding locations had been revealed, the militia got here they usually all died that day,” Rajboa remembers.


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