Last Updated on May 28, 2020

Felicien Kabuga Denied Bail by French Court


A French court has rejected a request to release Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga under court supervision.

The court denied his lawyer’s argument that Felicien Kabuga should be released on bail because of poor health. The court believes that continued detention ensured he would not abscond. Kabuga can however appeal the decision.

The genocide suspect, meanwhile, told the court the international charges levelled against him were lies.

Kabuga is accused of financing and arming the ethnic Hutu militias that slaughtered 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus in 1994. He was arrested was arrested near Paris earlier this month after more than 20 years on the run.

Asked if he understood the charges made by a United Nations tribunal, Kabuga told the court through an interpreter: “All of this is lies. I have not killed any Tutsis. I was working with them.”

Related: Bizimana Augustin’s remains found in the Republic of Congo

He confirmed his identity saying he was born in 1933, rather than 1935 as stated in court documents.

Indictment against Kabuga

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 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. The militias aim was to stir up ethnic hatred and committing genocide against Tutsis, according to the indictment.

Grace Farvel, a Paris-based lawyer has speculated that it is likely Kabuga will first be transferred to The Hague. He would then to Arusha, Tanzania, for trial. Farvel however added: “It is still possible that the validity of the arrest warrant would be challenged, and the court would accept that argument.” 

The international arrest warrant for Kabuga was issued in August 1999.

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