PARIS — One of the-wanted fugitives accused of financing the 1994 Rwanda genocide towards the Tutsis was arrested in a Paris suburb early on Saturday, the French police stated, ending a decade-long worldwide hunt.
The fugitive, Félicien Kabuga, 84, had been on the run for 23 years since he was indicted by the Worldwide Prison Tribunal for Rwanda on a number of fees of genocide. He was captured at 7 a.m. at a house rented by a relative in Asniéres-sur-Seine, outdoors Paris, the place he had been staying beneath a false id, officers stated.
Tribunal officers confirmed the arrest and stated Mr. Kabuga was anticipated to be handed over to United Nations prosecutors. His trial on a number of fees of genocide is predicted to happen within the tribunal’s successor courtroom in Arusha, Tanzania.
“Kabuga has all the time been seen by the victims and survivors as one of many main figures,” Serge Brammertz, the chief prosecutor on the tribunal, stated by cellphone on Saturday from The Hague. “For them, after ready so a few years, his arrest is a vital step towards justice.”
Mr. Brammertz stated he thought of this crucial arrest by a world tribunal since the arrest in 2011 of Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Serbian navy chief who was then convicted of getting dedicated genocide throughout the Bosnian battle of the early 1990s.
Mr. Kabuga’s arrest ends a prolonged and often-frustrating seek for worldwide investigators who sought to establish his whereabouts in a number of international locations. He’s believed to have first taken refuge in Kenya, and later handed by Germany, Switzerland and different international locations.
However till now, he had managed to flee because the police in several cities responded too slowly or reluctantly to an arrest warrant issued by the tribunal in 1997.
A tribunal official stated on Saturday that Mr. Kabuga had been tracked down in France after investigators adopted communications amongst members of his household who, the official stated, had acted as his assist community.
A millionaire businessman, Mr. Kabuga is charged with financing and organizing the infamous Interahamwe militia, which carried out the brunt of the slaughter, invariably hacking folks to loss of life with machetes.
The indictment towards him additionally alleges that his radio station, Radio-Tv Mille Collines, incited the killings by broadcasts directing roaming gangs of killers to roadblocks and websites the place Tutsi could possibly be positioned.
The long-awaited arrest is seen as a lift for worldwide prison justice, which has been beneath assault from the Trump administration in addition to supporters who’ve been exasperated by the failure to arrest indicted battle criminals.
“At a time when worldwide justice is going through many challenges,” Mr. Brammertz stated, “this can undoubtedly assist those that nonetheless imagine in worldwide justice.”