Friday, December 2, 2022

UN tribunal begins trial of Rwandan genocide suspect despite boycott

The judges said that the hearing must go on in spite of the suspect’s decision to boycott it from his jail cell.

• September 29, 2022
UN tribunal

A UN tribunal in The Hague on Thursday opened the genocide trial of a Rwandan businessman captured two years ago after decades on the run.

The judges said that the hearing must go on in spite of the suspect’s decision to boycott it from his jail cell.

Felicien Kabuga, a former businessman and radio station owner, was one of the last suspects sought by a UN tribunal prosecuting crimes committed in the 1994 genocide, when ruling Hutu majority extremists killed more than 800,000 minority Tutsis and Hutu moderates in 100 days.

Mr Kabuga, “is this morning well but has decided not to attend the hearing either in person or via video link,’’ Judge Iain Bonomy said.

“The trial must proceed’’ with the opening statement of the prosecutor, the judges decided.

Mr Kabuga is in his mid-to-late 80s, though his precise date of birth is disputed.

He was arrested in May 2020 in Paris between COVID-19 lockdowns and extradited to The Hague where he has entered a not-guilty plea.

The Prosecutors have charged the former coffee and tea tycoon with three counts of genocide and two counts of crimes against humanity, primarily for promoting hate speech through his broadcaster, Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM).

He is also accused of arming ethnic Hutu militias.

UN prosecutor Rashid Rashid said in his opening statement that Mr Kabuga did not need to wield a rifle or a machete at a roadblock. Rather, he supplied weapons in bulk and facilitated the training that prepared the Interahamwe (Hutu militias) to use them,’’

Mr Rashid added that Mr Kabuga had founded a radio station that “broadcast genocidal propaganda across Rwanda”.

Earlier, UN prosecutor Serge Brammertz told journalists after Thursday’s hearing that Mr Kabuga’s no-show was a strategic decision from his side but said it would not affect the proceedings.

Because of Mr Kabuga’s advanced age and fragile health the court will only sit for six hours a week, divided into two days.

Mr Brammertz said the prosecution case will take several months.

“Time is essential here so we hope this trial can proceed as fast as possible,” Mr Brammertz said.

The defence is due to make its opening statement when the trial resumes on Friday. 

(Reuters/NAN)

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-rufai

Heading 2

One in 100 Kaduna people has AIDS, says KADSACA

“At the national level, the prevalence of the virus (AIDS) was at 1.4 (four people out of 100 test positive), while that of Kaduna is confirmed to be 1.1.”

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje ,Church and Mosque

Kano

Ganduje warns politicians against campaigning at religious centres

The governor lamented the use of religion by political elites, especially during electioneering, to divide religious groups.

EFCC chair Abdulrashid Bawa

Anti-Corruption

3,440 Nigerian fraudsters convicted in 2022, says EFCC chairman Bawa

“In terms of prosecution of cases in court, I am glad to inform you that, between January and November 25 this year, EFCC recorded 3,440 convictions.”

crash

Enugu

One person killed in Enugu road crash: FRSC

One person has been killed in an auto crash within the Enugu metropolis.

Secretary to the state government(SSG) Ibrahim Kashim and Hard Drugs used to illustrate the story.

States

Widespread use of hard drugs in Bauchi worrisome: SSG

The Bauchi government says it is worried about the widespread sale and use of hard drugs in the state.

Enugu

Enugu DisCo laments vandals destroying its equipment

EEDC has arrested and handed eight electricity installation vandals to the police for investigation and prosecution.