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Top fugitive in Rwanda’s genocide arrested in Paris

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Kigali: One of the most wanted fugitives in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide has been arrested in Paris, authorities said Saturday.

Felicien Kabuga, who had a USD 5 million bounty on his head, was arrested as a result of a joint investigation with the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals office of the prosecutor, French authorities said.

The 84-year-old Kabuga had been wanted in the genocide that killed more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus who tried to protect them.

French authorities said he had been living in Paris under an assumed name.

The UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted Kabuga in 1997 on charges related to conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution and extermination.

Rwandan prosecutors have said financial documents found in the capital, Kigali, after the genocide indicated that Kabuga used his companies to import vast quantities of machetes which were used slaughter people.

The wealthy businessman also was accused of establishing the station Radio Television Mille Collines that broadcast vicious propaganda against the ethnic Tutsi, as well as training and equipping the Interahamwe militia that led the killing spree.

Kabuga was close to former President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death when his plane was shot down over Kigali sparked the 100-day genocide. Kabuga’s daughter married Habyarimana’s son.

Kabuga is expected to be transferred to the custody of the U.N. mechanism, where he will stand trial.

“The arrest of Kabuga today is a reminder that those responsible for genocide can be brought to account, even 26 years after their crimes,” the mechanism’s chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement.

He thanked France’s Central Office for Combating Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide and War Crimes and the Paris appeals court’s prosecutor’s office.

Officials in Rwanda hailed the arrest and said the East African nation will continue to collaborate with the U.N. mechanism to ensure that justice is served.

According to Rwandan prosecutors, other top fugitives still at large include Protais Mpiranya, the former commandant of the Presidential Guards, and former defense minister Augustin Bizimana.(AP)

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