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Kabuga faces six counts

AT last, the Prosecutor with the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (RMCT) has charged Felicien Kabuga with six counts related to Rwandan Genocide that occurred 1994.

Before three judges at The Hague Branch of the Mechanism in The Netherlands, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz charged the former influential businessman with charges of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide.

Kabuga who was also President of the Comiteprovisoire of the Fonds de Defense Nationale (FDN), and President and founding member of the Radio Television Libre des Mille eollines (RTLM) is also accused of persecution on political grounds; extermination and murder pursuant to Articles of the ICTR Statute.

The matter is before Presiding Judge lain Bonomy, Judge Graciela Susana Gatti Santana and Judge Elizabeth Ibanda-Nahamya. It is temporarily at The Hague Branch while waiting for the Court to establish if he is fit to be transported to the Arusha Branch of The Mechanism where it was ruled that he would stand trial.

In the Second Public Amendment Indictment, Mr Brammertz notes that Kabuga who was born in 1935 in Rwanda, at all times relevant to the indictment, was a wealthy and influential businessman who had close ties to the Hutu political elite in Rwanda and was a prominent member of the ruling MRND party.

Citing context of the crimes, the prosecutor noted that between 6th April 1994 and 17th July 1994, genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group occurred in Rwanda. During that period, Rwandan citizens were identified according to the ethnic classifications – Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa that are protected groups falling within the scope of the Genocide Convention of 1948.

Between 6th April 1994 and 17th July 1994, there were throughout Rwanda widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population based on Tutsi ethnic identification and/or political grounds. 

From at least 1st January 1994 until July 1994, Kabuga was said to be responsible as a member of a JCE for direct and public incitement to commit genocide and persecution through denigrating and threatening broadcasts.

He is also said to aid and abet crimes committed by RTLM journalists, interahamwe and others as well as conspire to commit genocide. From the early 1990s, Kabuga contributed to nationwide efforts to create and support interahamwe, and continued his support into 1994. He is also accused of providing support to interahamwe in Kigali-Ville, Gisenyi prefectures where they committed crimes.

Prosecutor Brammertz notes that between April and June 1994, Kabuga attended at least three meetings at the Méridien Hotel. During the meetings, he is said to have raised funds to buy weapons and ammunition to defeat Tutsi and other perceived 'accomplices' or 'allies' of the RPF and called for the Tutsi to be exterminated.

In May and June 1994, Kabuga is said that was present at, and/or represented at, at least two meetings at Umuganda Stadium. He publicly made a contribution for the purchase of arms and ammunition for the interahamwe, called on the population also to contribute and encouraged interahamwe to continue killing and harming Tutsi and other "accomplices" or' allies' of the RPF.

In May and June 1994, he is alleged to have provided weapons and financial support to interahamwe at Gisenyi military camp, reprimanded interahamwe for not being as active as interahamwe in other areas and encouraged them to continue attacking Tutsi and other perceived 'accomplices' or 'allies' of the RPF.

Brammertz notes that aggravating circumstances against Kabuga include abuse of authority; his pre-meditation; the violent and humiliating nature of the crimes and the vulnerability of the victims; the duration of the offences and suffering of the victims; and his genocidal and/or persecutory intent for convictions in relation to modes of liability which do not require such intent.

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Author: DEUS NGOWI, in Arusha

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