The Court of Cassation of Paris handed down its verdict on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Félicien Kabuga, the alleged financier of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, will indeed be handed over to international justice.
Félicien Kabuga, the Rwandan businessman whose escape ended on May 16 in Asnières-sur-Seine, a Parisian suburb, after a race that lasted almost 26 years, is now fixed on his fate. All the hopes nourished by the man and his legal team to avoid his transfer to international justice have thus vanished.
Indeed, the Paris Court of Cassation, the highest court of the judiciary, confirmed the decision already rendered last June by the Court of Appeal which « could validly consider that there was no legal or medical obstacle to the execution of the arrest warrant » to transfer Félicien Kabuga to Arusha (Tanzania), the seat of the UN tribunal, which is to try him for genocide and crimes against humanity.
From then on, the French authorities have up to one month to place the man at the disposal of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MTPI), the structure in charge of completing the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Here again, Félicien Kabuga’s lawyers want to use all the means at their disposal to have their client tried in The Hague, the second city where the MTPI is based, rather than in Arusha.
« We are going to use the mechanism to enforce Mr. Kabuga’s rights and we are going to ask that he be transferred to The Hague rather than Arusha, because in The Hague his rights will be better protected, » Emmanuel Altit, one of his lawyers, told AFP.
It is fitting to recall that Félicien Kabuga, now 87 years old, is suspected of having financed the Tutsi genocide that killed 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994.