Rwanda’s genocide suspect Félicien Kabuga has told the United Nations court that he needs a new lawyer to represent him in the ongoing case in which he faces genocide charges.
Kabuga is charged with genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and persecution on political grounds, extermination, and murder as crimes against humanity, committed during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
Kabuga, 89, who appeared before the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (UNIRMCT) court this Thursday, through a video link, told judges that he wanted his current lawyer Emmanuel Alti replaced with Peter Robison.
Kabuga explained to court that the reason for changing his defense lawyer was because the current one- Alti doesn’t provide him nor family with information and documents on his case .
Alti is an international lawyer who has also been a defense attorney in the case of Laurent Gbagbo, the former President of Côte d’Ivoire.
The suspect said that as soon as he is accorded a lawyer of his choice, he will be ready to stand trial but also sought to have a closed trial in which he intends to submit issues of health challenges that he believes can spare him from being tried.
His lawyer Alti has however contested this argument saying that it’s illegal to share information with other family members but his client (Kabuga).
Kabuga has been awaited since his arrest in May 2020.
Despite these delays, the Prosecution at the UN court at The Hague, have already submitted their charges and only waiting to have court pre- judge Iain Bonomy decide on dates of trial and how it will be done (in- person or video link).