One of the world’s most wanted men on Wednesday will face an extradition hearing in a Paris court for his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide on Wednesday.
Felicien Kabuga, born in 1935, is sought by an international court on seven charges of involvement in genocide and crimes against humanity.
French police earlier this month tracked him down to an apartment in a Paris suburb where he was living under a false name, after years on the run.
He was among the nine most-wanted fugitives in the genocide, in which more than 800,000 Rwandans, members of the Tutsi ethnic group and moderate Hutus who tried to protect them, were killed.
According to an indictment from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Kabuga chaired the notorious Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) and used it to incite hatred between Hutus and Tutsis.
The indictment alleges that RTLM “incited the commission of genocide through broadcasts that expressly identified persons as Tutsis, provided their locations, described them as the enemy, and called for their elimination.”
Kabuga also agreed with others to create and fund a militia in the capital Kigali with the aim of stirring up ethnic hatred and committing genocide against Tutsis, according to the indictment.
If the Paris Court of Appeal approves Kabuga’s extradition, it will order him to be handed over to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.
The mechanism tries Rwandan cases in neighbouring Tanzania, but prosecutors are asking that Kabuga be held temporarily at The Hague, in the Netherlands, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The mechanism took over responsibility for most ICTR cases in 2012, after the latter court had sentenced 62 defendants and cleared 14 during 17 years in operation. (dpa/NAN)