A suspected financier of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide faces a pre-trial hearing in The Hague on Wednesday, a United Nations tribunal says.
Felicien Kabuga, once one of Rwanda’s richest men, is accused of crimes against humanity including genocide, complicity in genocide and incitement to commit genocide, for having helped create a militia group and using his media company to incite people to murder – charges he denies.
More than two decades after Kabuga was first indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), he was arrested near Paris on May 16.
The former tea and coffee tycoon was then transferred to The Hague in advance of his trial in Tanzania at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the UN tribunal that took over responsibility for trying those accused of atrocities in the Rwandan genocide after the ICTR wound up in 2012.
Kabuga’s lawyers will be asked to update the MICT on Wednesday on how their preparations for trial were proceeding, said Judge Iain Bonomy in Arusha, Tanzania.
He said Kabuga – aged 84 according to the arrest warrant even though he says he is 87 – could appear in a courtroom in The Hague or via videolink from his detention centre.
The MICT will put him on trial for crimes against humanity including genocide, complicity in genocide and incitement to commit genocide.
UN prosecutors accuse Kabuga of having helped to create the Interahamwe Hutu militia group and of urging the killing of Tutsis through his Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines.
He is also accused of bankrolling and importing huge numbers of machetes for ethnic Hutu militias who killed hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda during a 100-day period in 1994.