Rwandan genocide suspect Kabuga denounces charges as “lies”

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Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga told a French court on Wednesday that the international charges against him were lies.

Asked if he understood the charges made by an UN tribunal, Kabuga told the court through an interpreter: “All of this is lies. I have not killed any Tutsis. I was working with them.”

He is accused of financing and arming the ethnic Hutu militias that slaughtered some 800 000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus in 1994.

Kabuga was arrested in a Paris suburb on May 16 after more than two decades on the run. His lawyers told the court he should be released under court supervision because of his age and ill-health, and that the results of a DNA test used to identify him should be annulled as he had not given consent.

The court’s three judges are due to decide whether to transfer Kabuga to the international tribunal based in The Hague and Arusha, Tanzania.

Kabuga was too elderly and sick to be transferred and should be tried in France, his lawyers said.

“This court is just saying ‘go and get judged elsewhere but not here’. It wants to hand him over without consideration for his age and health, which could have irreversible consequences,” defence lawyer Laurent Bayon told the court.