The pre-trial hearing for key Genocide suspect Félicien Kabuga continued at a UN court in The Hague in a closed session on the request of defence. Presiding judge Iain Bonomy granted counsel Emmanuel Altit’s request to hear proceedings in closed session, citing his client’s poor health. Kabuga was virtually appearing before court on Thursday, February 3. During the session Judge Bonomy ordered that the court receive another full report on Kabuga’s health. In a twist of events, when the hearing started Kabuga requested that his lawyer be changed, according to the BBC. Kabuga has been in the custody of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (at the Hague branch) since October 26 when he was transferred to The Netherlands following his arrest. He was arrested in France in May 2020. During a court hearing in November 2020, Kabuga pleaded not guilty. He had last appeared in court on October 6, 2021. Kabuga is charged with seven counts, including five related to genocide; genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide. Other charges include persecution and extermination – both as crimes against humanity. Known as the Chief Financier of the Genocide against the Tutsi, Kabuga was a wealthy businessman and core member of the Akazu (a small powerful circle of ideologues that masterminded the Genocide). He was also the founding president of the board of shareholders of hate radio RTLM, which incited killings. Kabuga, 87, had been on the run since August 18, 1994, when the Swiss security services let him slip from their grasp. As the Genocide progressed, Kabuga was reportedly given a visa to enter Switzerland.