Sat, 30 Sep 2023

A UN court has ruled that Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga, aged in his late 80s, is unfit to stand trial and is instead calling for an "alternative" legal procedure that resembles a trial but would not end in a conviction.

Judges at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague said Kabuga, whose precise date of birth is disputed, was "very unlikely to regain fitness in the future".

The trial chamber found Kabuga was "no longer capable of meaningful participation in his trial" a decision published on the court's website said.

The decision came after doctors found Kabuga suffered from dementia. It was not immediately clear what would happen to Kabuga, who is in the court's detention centre.

Two decades on the run

Kabuga was arrested in France in 2020 after more than 20 years on the run.

The former coffee and tea tycoon denies charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Her went on trial in September last year, with prosecutors accusing him of setting up hate media that urged ethnic Hutus to kill rival Tutsis and supplying death squads with machetes.

France to erect Paris memorial to Rwanda genocide victims One of last remaining fugitives wanted for Rwandan genocide arrested

Prosecutors say Kabuga promoted hate speech through his broadcaster, Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM), and armed ethnic Hutu militias.

It is rare for suspects before international courts to be declared mentally unfit to stand trial.

Kabuga is one of the last Rwandan genocide suspects to face justice, with 62 convicted by the tribunal so far.

Originally published on RFI

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