ARUSHA – Felician Kabuga, the alleged mastermind of the Rwanda genocide in 1994, will be brought to Arusha to stand trial.
The UN Mechanism which took over the activities of the disbanded International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said the fugitive would be transferred to Arusha once the appropriate procedures are completed.
“Kabuga is expected to be transferred to the custody of the Mechanism where he will stand trial”, said the Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz.
The most wanted fugitive was arrested in Paris by the French authorities early on Saturday as a result of joint investigations with IRMCT (the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals).
The Mechanism took over the activities of ICTR when the latter was disbanded in December 2015 and this included bringing to justice the fugitives still on the run once arrested.
ICTR was created by the UN Security Council in December 1994 and by the time it closed shop it had convicted 61 fugitives and acquitted 14 others.
The wealthy businessman, said to have financed the killings during the 100 days of orgy bloodshed in Rwanda from April 6th, is believed to have dodged arrest many times.
Until a decade ago, reports were awash he was hiding within the East African region, with ICTR prosecutors and the Rwandan officials repeatedly calling for his arrest and hand over to the Arusha-based tribunal for trial.
He was indicted by the ICTR in 1997 on seven counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution and extermination.
This was all in relation to crimes committed during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda during which it is estimated between 800,000 to one million people were hacked to death.
Hope was almost gone until about 2012 when $ 5 million bounty was placed on his head for anybody who would give critical information that could lead to his arrest.
Mr.Brammherz could not reveal as to where the fugitive had been hiding for the past 25 years until he was nabbed living under an assumed name in the Paris suburb.
But he said Kabuga, now believed to be 84 year old, was arrested “in a sophisticated and coordinated operation with simultaneous searches across a number of locations”.
He was among the eight masterminds still at large when ICTR closed business and handed over its activities to ICMCT (the Mechanism) in December 2015.
The other suspects still on the run, according to regular media briefs, included Pheneas Munyarugarama, Fulgence Kayishema, Charles Sikuwabo, Ladislaus Ntaganzwa, Alloyes Ndimbati and one Ryandikayo.
Nearly one million people were brutally killed in Rwanda during a genocide targeting the Tutsis from April 6th, 1994. The killings were triggered by the killing of former Rwanda President Juvenal Habyarimana.
His arrest comes only a year after the Mechanism announced possibility of locating the whereabouts of the fugitives after getting crucial intelliegence reports on them.