French Court Dismisses Rwandan Genocide Suspect’s Health Plea, Hands Him Over To UN Prosecutor

A court in Paris, France, has disregarded the request by Rwandan genocide suspect, Felicien Kabuga, that he be tried in France on health grounds. 

The 87-year-old fugitive accused of bankrolling the murder of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994, is unwilling to face the prospect of standing trial in Arushah, Tanzania, according to his lawyers.

According to Reuters, the court said his health was “not incompatible” with a transfer. 

Kabuga’s lawyers have argued that if he is handed over to the UN tribunal headed by Serge Brammertz, he is likely not to get a fair hearing.

According to the news agency, Kabuga’s lawyers wrote a letter to Brammertz, arguing that his health was too frail for him to be transferred to the African country particularly during a dangerous pandemic period prior to Wednesday’s ruling. 

“If you were to decide to assert the primacy of your jurisdiction over French jurisdiction, thus endangering the life of Felicien Kabuga, we would take the risk of renouncing on discovering the truth forever,” one of his legal aides, Laurent Bayon, wrote, citing Kabuga’s medical history.

The businessman is charged with genocide and incitement to commit genocide among other charges. 

He could be taken to either Tanzania or The Hague in Netherlands.

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