KIGALI - The Government of Rwanda has said that it will not in any way engage in talks with key Genocide fugitive Félicien Kabuga, a former businessman who financed the 1994 Tutsi Genocide. The development comes after media broke a story of Kabuga’s efforts to hold talks with Rwandan judicial authorities in an effort to have him tried in Rwanda.
“Despite the fact that we have not established the authenticity of the stories that have been publicized by electronic media, Kabuga is and still remains a subject of the international justice and will be tried by the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)” Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said by telephone last evening.
According to the story which was broken by the African Press International (API), Kabuga said that he was willing to talk with the Government of Rwanda about being brought to stand trial inRwanda but not at the UN tribunal.
“We do not have any kind of communication with Kabuga, his agent, his lawyers or any of his family members. Everything we heard came from the media,” Ngoga said. He warned that the media reports should be handled with caution.
“You never know, these could be efforts to distract the progress in apprehending him. We should not be distracted by what is going on in the media,” he said.
According to the media, the fugitive, who has been dubbed the ‘financier of the Rwanda Genocide’, is said to be in Norway, a revelation that contradicts assertions by the ICTR which had suspected him to be in Kenya.
Recently, the Kenyan High Court passed a verdict freezing some of the assets belonging to Kabuga in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Asked whether Government has any intentions of holding any talks with the Norwegian Government regarding the apprehension of Kabuga, Ngoga said they would not.
“This is not a statement from the Norwegian Government; we shall not hold any talks with them. There is a general way we cooperate just like other countries to have them assist in arresting fugitives, we shall not hold talks regarding this particular suspect,” he added.
Kabuga, a former businessman and close associate of the former president Juvenal Habyarimana’s family, played a prime role in the Genocide, most notably being the majority shareholder of the Radio Television des Mille Collines (RTLM), a hate media outlet whose major aim for establishment was to call upon Rwandans to massacre others.
According to his ICTR indictment, he took part in the creation of the National Defence Fund (FDN) of which he became President.
The role of the FDN was to pool resources that bought much of the tools that were used in hacking to death over one million Rwandans in a period less than three months.
The reports come just weeks after the United States, under their Reward for Justice programme revived their efforts to apprehend Rwanda Genocide fugitives.