One of Rwanda’s most powerful business tycoon Félicien Kabuga who is believed to have been the financier of the 1994 genocide will appear before a court at The Hague for the first time, a judicial source confirmed on Wednesday.According to a statement by the presiding judge of the Trial Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals , Iain Bonomy who is also the pre-trial judge, in this case, Kabuga is allowed “to either participate in the initial appearance in-person in the courtroom of the Hague Branch of the mechanism or via video-teleconference”.
Kabuga is currently in the custody of The Hague since October 26 when he was transferred from France.
Initially, the French Court of Appeal had ruled that Kabuga be transferred to Arusha, as had earlier been ruled by a judge before the suspect put in a request to be tried at The Hague, citing his advanced age and the medical conditions that require what he called “comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and intensive care and stresses.”
The alleged genocide architect was arrested in May by French authorities on an international arrest warrant for crimes related to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis after 26 years on the run.
Kabuga was indicted 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 in Rwanda.
Félicien Kabuga was one of Rwanda’s richest men at the time of the genocide.
He allegedly bankrolled the infamous Interahamwe, a Hutu militia that slaughtered thousands of Tutsis between April and July 1994.
The 84-year-old was also one of the alleged operators of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, a radio station used to fan the flames of hatred and incite killings of the minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.