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UN court judge rules to transfer Félicien Kabuga to The Hague

A UN court has ruled that Félicien Kabuga, the man accused of financing the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, be transferred to The Hague in the Netherlands.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals made the ruling following a last-ditch appeal by Kabuga, challenging court decisions earlier made by different French courts that he be transferred to Arusha Tanzania.

 

In a ruling made on Wednesday, October 21, MICT Judge lain Bonomy ruled that Kabuga’s indictment be amended so that he can be sent to The Hague where he will be tried.

 

The MICT Arusha branch is the seat of the former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

 

The genocide architect was arrested earlier this year by French authorities on an international warrant for crimes related to the Genocide against the Tutsi after 26 years on the run.

After the French Court of Appeal ruled that Kabuga be transferred to Arusha, the former businessman requested this month that his arrest warrant and order for transfer be amended to provide for his transfer to The Hague.

He argued that his transfer to Arusha posed “considerable risks to his health and safety” citing his advanced age and many medical conditions that require what he called “comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and intensive care and stresses.”

In particular, he cited the risks associated with air travel.

Kabuga also asserts that, because his family lives in Europe, his transfer to Arusha would violate his right to family life.

The Prosecution said it supports Kabuga’s transfer to the Hague Branch of the Mechanism, at least initially.

It also argued that an independent medical examination should be conducted to determine if his state of health would be compatible with transfer to and detention at the Arusha Branch of the Mechanism.”

However, the Prosecution disputed that Kabuga’s right to family life would be violated by his transfer to the Arusha Branch of the Mechanism in view of regulations allowing visits and communication with detainees there.

Kabuga was indicted on seven counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution and extermination, all in relation to crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, in Rwanda.

jbizimungu@newtimesrwanda.com

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