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Rwanda genocide suspect, Kabuga opposes transfer to UN tribunal – Lawyers

Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga has the right to be presumed innocent and opposes being transferred from France to a UN tribunal based in Tanzania, his lawyers said in a statement.

Kabuga, 84, is accused of bankrolling ethnic militias that massacred some 800,000 people in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and had been on the run for a quarter of a century until his arrest on Saturday in a Paris suburb.

He is due to appear at 1200 GMT before judges at a Paris court who will decide whether to hand him to the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

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The international court is based in The Hague, Netherlands and Arusha, Tanzania.

The lawyers said they would seek a postponement at the opening of the hearing.

It was unacceptable, the lawyers said, that France’s public prosecutor’s office had on Saturday referred to the one-time tea and coffee tycoon as one of the leading perpetrators of the slaughter, before any trial had begun.

Kabuga is Rwanda’s most wanted man and had a 5 dollars million bounty on his head.

He was indicted in 1997 on seven criminal counts including genocide and incitement to commit genocide.

Under French law, an eight-day postponement to hearing will be automatically granted. (NAN)