The historic trial of Rwanda’s Félicien Kabuga begins 29 September in The Hague. The former businessman, who was arrested in France in May 2020, is accused of having been the financier of the Tutsi genocide and is expected to appear in court after more than 20 years on the run. How did he escape justice for two decades? What was the exact role of this businessman, who was one of the founders of Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines – RTLM – (a Rwandan radio station that broadcast from July 1993-July 1994 and played a crucial role in inciting the genocide)? As his trial opens today in The Hague, here is a 10-point portrait of Félicien Kabuga.
This is one of the unknowns of the trial that starts 29 September: 89-year-old Kabuga’s health status. In France, where he has lived in recent years and where he was arrested in May 2020, his lawyers have continued to insist on his inability to appear. In The Hague, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals decided otherwise: last June, it found that “the defence has not established that Kabuga is currently unfit to stand trial”.
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