Kabuga’s indictment, health status to be known next year

Kabuga’s indictment, health status to be known next year

THE status of proceedings in the indictment of the Rwandan accused of orchestrating the 1994 genocide, Felicien Kabuga, as well as his health condition will be known early next year.

Presiding Judge Iain Bonomy at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) has decided that the prosecution submits its request for leave to amend the indictment and the proposed final indictment by 12:00 on Friday, 15 January 2021.

Sitting at the Arusha Branch of the Mechanism, Pre-trial Judge Bonomy also ordered the prosecution to submit an update and proposal in relation to its disclosure of Rule 73 as set forth above in 14 days.

In yet another order, IRMCT Registrar Abubacarr Tambadou is to submit medical reports regarding Kabuga’s health and on-going medical assessment every 14 days.

The orders came as the prosecution sought to amend the indictment to streamline charges.

The prosecutor, Mr Serge Brammertz, wants to bring the above in line with pleading requirements and reflect necessary changes based on the results of on-going investigations.

It should be able to submit an amended indictment for the judge’s consideration by January next year.

Judge Bonomy ordered Mr Emmanuel Altit – the Duty Counsel for Kabuga to file applications on matters relating to Kabuga’s health, if any, by January 22, next year.

In line with all the orders, the judge said the parties should be informed that a scheduling order for a status conference in early 2021 would be issued in due course.

“A status conference will be scheduled in due course for early next year on a date between January 18 and February 5, 2021 to facilitate preparations of the case for trial and address any related issues,” said the judge in his November 25 order.

Kabuga was first indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on November 26, 1997. His indictment was amended on October 12, 2005 and following further amendments, the operative indictment was confirmed on April 13, 2011.

Kabuga was arrested on May 16, 2020 in France and following the judge’s decision of October 21, 2020 amending an arrest warrant and order for transfer, Kabuga was transferred on October 26, this year to the United Nations Detention Unit at the Hague Branch of the Mechanism for detailed medical assessment instead of Arusha Branch of the Mechanism.

Initial appearance of Kabuga took place on November 11, 2020.

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