Very short hearing this Wednesday at the Paris Court of Appeal for Félicien Kabuga, considered to be the “financier” of the genocide in Rwanda.
He was arrested a few days ago in France, after 26 years on the run. The court must rule on his transfer to international justice, so that he will be tried for genocide and crimes against humanity.
His lawyers have announced that they oppose the transfer and that their client wants to be tried in France. At their request, the investigation of the case was postponed for a week.
It was on a wheelchair, pushed by an armed gendarmerie escort, that Félicien Kabuga entered the courtroom. Jeans, dark sweater, and mask on the face. He confirms his identity in a hoarse, tired voice in Kinyarwanda. He indicates that he is 87 years old and not 84 as mentioned in his arrest warrant.
Then Félicien Kabuga listens impassively to the list of charges brought against him. ” I would like to remind you that Mr. Kabuga has rights “And that he is” presumed innocent “Then launched Mr. Laurent Bayon, one of his lawyers.
The latter judge ” inadmissible “That in the press release announcing his arrest, he was presented” as one of the main Rwandan genocidaires ” so ” that his trial did not take place ” Félicien Kabuga “ wants to be tried in France “Continues the lawyer. Announcing that he will oppose his transfer to the Mechanism, this body of international justice, created in 2010.
The lawyer accuses the public prosecutor’s office of “ rush to get rid of his client “,” and see him judge elsewhere, especially not in France ” He finally requested an adjournment of the hearing for 8 days, which was granted to him.
General counsel act quickly to reduce “ maximum detention times “Octogenarian, who finally leaves the courtroom, still helped by his escort, but hand and fists raised, and under the encouragement of a few relatives, including several of his 11 children.