Most Wanted Genocide Fugitive Felicien Kabuga Arrested in France

Tycoon Felicien Kabuga, the most wanted Genocide fugitive who is alleged to have provided key sponsorship to the Genocidal government in buying weapons that helped to exterminate over 1 million Tutsi in Rwanda was arrested in Paris-France this morning.

News of the arrest of Kabuga was communicated by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

“Today, Félicien Kabuga – one of the world’s most wanted fugitives who is alleged to have been a leading figure in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda – was arrested in Paris by French authorities as the result of a joint investigation with the IRMCT Office of the Prosecutor,” irmct.org writes.

“The arrest of Félicien Kabuga today is a reminder that those responsible for genocide can be brought to account, even twenty-six years after their crimes,” said Mechanism Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz  upon the arrest.

“Our first thoughts must be with the victims and survivors of the Rwandan genocide. Advocating on their behalf is an immense professional honor for my entire Office.”

“For international justice, Kabuga’s arrest demonstrates that we can succeed when we have the international community’s support. This result is a tribute to the unwavering commitment of the United Nations Security Council, which established the Mechanism to continue the accountability process in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.”

The prosecutor shared his appreciation to France while saying:

“I would like to extend our appreciation to France and its law enforcement authorities, particularly the Central Office for Combatting Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide and War Crimes and the Office of the Procureur Général of the Paris Cour d’Appel. This arrest could not have been made without their exceptional cooperation and skill.”

Rwanda, with its Genocide fugitive tracking unit and other law enforcers from across the world, were also acknowledged by the prosecutor.

“It is important to also recognize the many other partners whose contributions were essential, including law enforcement agencies and prosecution services from Rwanda, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United States, EUROPOL and INTERPOL. This arrest demonstrates the impressive results that can be achieved through international law enforcement and judicial cooperation,” he said.

“Earlier this year my Office visited the Ntarama genocide memorial in Rwanda to honor the memory of the victims and renew our commitment to justice. Today’s arrest underlines the strength of our determination.”

According to the tribunal, Kabuga was indicted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1997 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.

Following completion of appropriate procedures under French law, Kabuga is expected to the transferred to the custody of the Mechanism, where he will stand trial.

French police arrested Kabuga in a sophisticated, coordinated operation with simultaneous searches across a number of locations.

Kabuga’s 11 Counts

According to the act of indictment dated 21 November 2001, Kabuga is charged on 11 counts. He is accused of «genocide», «conspiracy to commit genocide», «complicity in genocide», and «direct and public incitation to commit genocide». Also, he is accused of «assassination as a crime against humanity», «extermination as a crime against humanity», «rape as a crime against humanity», «persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds as crimes against humanity» in addition to various war crimes.

Kabuga was initially indicted together with 6 other persons. On 1st September 2003, based on the fact that he had still not been arrested, the Third Trial Chamber of the ICTR – on request of the prosecutor – ordered the separation of the proceedings undertaken against Kabuga from those of the proceedings entitled «Government 1».

In June 2012, special deposition hearings were conducted in order to preserve evidence for future use when Kabuga would be arrested.

On 1 August 2012, the case of Kabuga was transferred to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRM) created by the UN in December 2010 to assume some functions of the ICTR and ICTY after the end of their mandate including tracking, arresting and judging the 9 fugitives still wanted by the ICTR.

 




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