Rwandan genocide trial: ‘Businessman’ not warlord -Lawyer
On the second day of the trial of Rwandan Félicien Kabuga Friday, the alleged genocide financier again refused to appear in court.
Emmanuel Altit, Lead Defence Lawyer on September 30 during the trial of Félicien Kabuga at the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunal (IRMCT) in The Hague
Kabuga’s trial at a UN court began on Thursday with prosecutors accusing the 87-year-old of setting up hate media that urged ethnic Hutus to kill rival Tutsis and supplying death squads with machetes.
But in their opening statements his defence rejected the “caricature” of Kabuga, once one of Rwanda’s richest men, saying he was not responsible for what they called a “grassroots” explosion of violence.
Instead the allegations should be seen against the backdrop of years of civil conflict in Rwanda that proceeded the 100-day killing spree in which more than 800,000 people died, they added.
Describing Kabuga as a “farmer’s son” who taught himself how to read and write, lawyer Altit said the suspect raised himself to become a successful businessman whose wife came from a mixed Hutu-Tutsi family.
It is alleged that the fertile and lush lands of Northern Rwanda are well known to Félicien Kabuga. The octogenarian whose trial opens in the Hague on Thursday grew up in Nyange village before making a fortune. He was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity for allegedly using his wealth to fund 1994 genocide.
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