KABUGA, Félicien (MICT-13-38)

Pretpretresni postupak

Félicien Kabuga was the President of the Comité Provisoire of the Fonds de défense nationale (“National Defence Fund”) from about 25 April 1994 to July 1994 and President of the Comité d’Initiative of Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (“RTLM”) during the time of the crimes pleaded in the indictment.

Year and place of birth

1935, Munig secteur, Mukarange commune, Byumba préfecture, Rwanda

Indictment

Operational indictment filed on 14 April 2011

Arrest

Arrested on 16 May 2020 in Paris, France

Status of the Case

Pre-trial

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE MECHANISM

According to Security Council resolution 1966 (2010), all States have an obligation to cooperate with the Mechanism in the location, arrest, detention, surrender, and transfer of accused persons still at large. Upon commencing operations on 1 July 2012, the Mechanism assumed jurisdiction over this case from the ICTR.

On 29 April 2013, a Single Judge, Judge Vagn Joensen, issued a warrant of arrest and an order for transfer requesting all Member States of the United Nations to search for, arrest, and transfer Kabuga to the custody of the Arusha branch of the Mechanism.

On 16 May 2020, Kabuga was arrested near Paris by French authorities as the result of a joint investigation with the Mechanism Office of the Prosecutor.

On 30 September 2020, the French Cour de cassation rejected Kabuga’s appeal against the lower court’s decision authorising his transfer to the custody of the Mechanism.

On 1 October 2020, President Carmel Agius assigned this case to a Trial Chamber composed of Judge Iain Bonomy, Presiding, Judge Graciela Susana Gatti Santana, and Judge Elizabeth Ibanda-Nahamya, effective upon the transfer of Kabuga to the seat of the relevant branch of the Mechanism.

On 21 October 2020, Judge Iain Bonomy amended the warrant of arrest and order for transfer, and ordered that Kabuga be transferred to the Hague Branch of the Mechanism. Kabuga was transferred to the Mechanism’s custody on 26 October 2020.

Kabuga’s initial appearance took place on 11 November 2020, during which a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf with respect to the charges in the indictment.

Pursuant to the Trial Chamber’s Decision on Prosecution Motion to Amend the Indictment, issued on 24 February 2021, the Prosecution filed its Second Amended Indictment on 1 March 2021 (“Indictment”).

CASE BACKGROUND INFORMATION

INDICTMENT

Kabuga is charged with genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and persecution on political grounds, extermination, and murder as crimes against humanity, committed in Rwanda in 1994.

The Indictment states that between 6 April 1994 and 17 July 1994, genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group occurred in Rwanda, and that, throughout Rwanda, there were widespread and/or systematic attacks against the civilian population based on Tutsi ethnic identification and/or political grounds.

According to the Indictment, Kabuga, a founder of the radio station RTLM, operated it with others in a manner that furthered hatred and violence against Tutsi and others and that he and others agreed to disseminate an anti-Tutsi message with the goal to eliminate the Tutsi ethnic group in Rwanda. Specifically, the Indictment alleges that RTLM directly and publicly incited the commission of genocide and persecution through denigrating and threatening broadcasts. These broadcasts expressly identified persons as Tutsi or as “accomplices” or “allies” of the Rwandan Patriotic Front and, in some instances, provided locations and other information that encouraged or facilitated their killing. The Indictment alleges that Kabuga is liable for these crimes based on his participation in a joint criminal enterprise with others involved in RTLM’s operations, as well as aiding and abetting the criminal conduct of RTLM journalists, Interahamwe, and others whose crimes were assisted or instigated by RTLM broadcasts.

Kabuga is further charged with aiding and abetting Interahamwe who killed and harmed Tutsi and others in Kigali, Gisenyi, and Kibuye prefectures by having provided material, logistical, financial, and moral support to them. As an example, the Indictment alleges that Kabuga supported a core group of Interahamwe in Kimironko, Kigali, known as “Kabuga’s Interahamwe” in numerous ways and that this group participated in attacks, killing and harming of Tutsi and others in Kigali-Ville préfecture at roadblocks, places of refuge, and houses. Kabuga is further alleged to have raised funds to purchase weapons and ammunition and to have played a role in importing arms and ammunition which were distributed to Interahamwe in Gisenyi préfecture. The Indictment alleges that these supplies were used for committing crimes in Gisenyi and Kibuye préfectures, and in and around Kigali-Ville préfecture.

The charges in the Indictment are the following:

One count of Genocide (Count 1)

One count of Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide (Count 2)

One count of Conspiracy to Commit Genocide (Count 3)

Three counts of Crimes Against Humanity

  • Persecution on political grounds (Count 4)
  • Extermination (Count 5)
  • Murder (Count 6)