A UN court will on Thursday decide whether to proceed with the trial of genocide mastermind Felicien Kabuga or discontinue it following a medical report that stated that the 90-year-old was “too ill to stand trial”. Prosecution challenged the medical report which indicated that the man who is known to have bankrolled the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, had been diagnosed with clinical dementia and thereby unfit to stand trial. The medical report was commissioned by The Hague-based court, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), which is trying Kabuga since last year following his arrest in 2020. The court is currently hearing from prosecution witnesses pinning Kabuga on playing a key role in the genocide in which over one million people were killed. During a hearing held on Wednesday, both defence and prosecution submitted their arguments on the report and the future of the trial, before the presiding judge adjourned the session to Thursday during which a pronouncement will be made on the submissions. Prosecution objects The prosecutor Rupert Elderkin, on behalf of the prosecution, pointed out that the report was very short, with only three pages and that there are no explanations or reasoning “sufficient enough to determine with confidence that he will never regain his fitness”. He underlined that during hearings last year in May and June, the Trial Chamber had already heard and determined that fitness is a dynamic concept and that the assessment of health must be determined not on a bad day or based on a time when his cognitive abilities were diminished due to illness. Moreover, Elderkin added that the information contained in the report is insufficient because it is only based on the February examinations and argues that the experts need to assess a “baseline condition” that is assessed over a longer period and takes into account that he needs to be fully recovered from his wintertime illness. Furthermore, as a possible way forward, prosecution proposed a temporary suspension of the hearings, in case judges consider that further assessment is required. He also emphasized the public interest to conclude the proceedings in a case of such significance not only for victims but also for the people of Rwanda and the whole international community. Moreover, he also reminded the court that Kabuga was a fugitive for two decades and that in the past, cases before the mechanism have only been terminated when a person had died, which is “clearly not the case here”. On his part, defence lawyer Emmanuel Altit said that the expert report confirms what the defence had been saying for months and months and that the Chamber said that fitness must be assessed, which was done. “He seems to be affected by dementia, which is a chronic state,” he said Altit also said that for the defence side, it is clear that there is no arguing about it and that the proceedings should be terminated immediately. Anything else, he argued, would be an “extreme violation of Kabuga's fundamental rights” and if the proceedings continued, it would be a sham trial. Kabuga, who was a wealthy state-connected businessman during the Genocide, was arrested in May 2020 in the French capital Paris, ending a 25-year manhunt for one of the most wanted fugitives.