The Paris court of appeal has thus given its consent, on Wednesday, June 3, for the surrender to international justice Félicien Kabuga, accused of being the "financier" of the genocide in Rwanda, and who tries, by all means, to be tried in France after more than twenty-five years on the run. The octogenarian, long one of the fugitives most wanted in the world, relying upon his state of health, and the fear of biased justice to refuse his transfer to Arusha, Tanzania, where the seat of the UN tribunal which has to judge him for genocide and crimes against humanity.
the chamber of The instruction of the court of appeal, which was charged to examine the validity of the warrant of arrest issued by the Mechanism for international criminal tribunals (MICT), has ordered its delivery to this structure, tasked to complete the work of the international criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
She also rejected a priority question of constitutionality that had been filed by the lawyers of Félicien Kabuga, currently detained in France.
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The health of Kabuga at the heart of its defense system
His defense immediately announced to the Court of cassation, which will have two months to comment. In case of rejection, there will still be a period of one month to hand it over to the MICT. "I expected this decision, we are in a context is extremely political," has declared to journalists Me Laurent Bayon, one of his lawyers, at the conclusion of the deliberations.
"A transfer to Arusha and the conditions of detention in Arusha it does not survive and, therefore, that there is a trial at the end of all this, both for the victims and for him," said Me Bayon.
last week, a judge of the MICT in The Hague, William Sekule, it was estimated that the Rwandan had to be transferred to Arusha when the conditions are met, rejecting a request by the prosecutor of the MICT, who wanted the surrender of Felicien Kabuga to the antenna of the international tribunal in The Hague on account of the travel restrictions put in place because of the pandemic of Covid-19.
Arrested on may 16 in the suburbs of paris, the old man is notably accused of having created, with other individuals, militias and hutu Interahamwe militia, the main armed the 1994 genocide, which caused, according to the UN, 800 000 people dead, mainly among the tutsi minority. And to have put his fortune to the contribution to transport of thousands of machetes to militia.
In a quarter of a century on the run, the silversmith's alleged genocide in Rwanda has relied on his fortune and a large family support to hide between Africa and Europe, before being arrested, in mid-may, in the suburbs of paris, betrayed by the geolocation of his children.
But the former president of the infamous Radio télévision libre des mille collines (RTLM), which broadcast calls for the murder of Tutsis, denies the entirety of the seven-count indictment. "All of this, they are lies. The Tutsis, I helped them in everything I did, in my business, and I would credit. I wasn't going to kill my customers, " said Felicien Kabuga, kinyarwanda, at the hearing on 27 may.
To challenge his transfer to Arusha, his lawyers have put forward the case of the seven accused in the ICTR, improperly cared for, including one who died prior to his trial, referring to the endemic diseases, the state of the health system of tanzania, and the health crisis related to the Covid-19.
But in its ruling, the board of education believes that there is " no objective reason to doubt that the MICT is able to ensure Félicien Kabuga to the same safeguards, medical as those that are currently available in France ".
Finally, counsel for Mr. Kabuga fear that, once in Tanzania, the MICT decided to submit their client to the rwandan authorities, bypassing the refusal of France to bring genocide suspects to Kigali.
This is why the defence has written on Tuesday to the un-MICT to ask him formally to relinquish jurisdiction in favour of the French justice system, which has already judged and sentenced three genocide.
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