French court allows UN trial for Rwanda genocide suspect

Wednesday June 03 2020

A Paris appeals court on Wednesday approved the transfer of Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga, arrested in France after decades on the run, to a United Nations body to be tried in Tanzania.

Accused of financing the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Kabuga had asked for a trial in France and he can still appeal the decision to hand him over to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT).

Described as Africa's most wanted man, Kabuga was arrested on May 16 at his home outside Paris, where he had been living under a false name.

His lawyers argued before the Paris court that the 84-year-old should be allowed to stay in France because of his advanced age, poor health, and an alleged lack of impartiality displayed by international courts.

A judge in The Hague ruled last month, however, that Kabuga should be tried in Arusha, Tanzania, under the UN's Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT).

The MICT, which took over the duties of the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda when it formally closed in 2015, is based in The Hague but has a branch in Arusha.