The UN’s Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (RMICT) Monday ruled that Felicien Kabuga is fit to stand trial. Kabuga is charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide for his role in the Rwandan genocide. Kabuga allegedly funded the Akazu, the ruling group responsible for planning and enacting violence against the Tutsi ethnic group.
Kabuga is 87 and has been in skilled nursing on and off during his time in The Hague. Kabuga’s defense filed a motion, claiming that Kabuga was incompetent to stand trial due to his illness and age. The court rejected the defense’s argument but left room for a change in his condition, saying, “Kabuga shall be subject to periodic monitoring by a panel of three independent medical experts who shall submit a joint report on Kabuga’s fitness for trial to the Trial Chamber every 180 days from the filing of this decision unless otherwise decided.”
Freddy Mutanguha, the leader of a support group for survivors of the genocide, celebrated the ruling, saying:
Genocide survivors welcome the… ruling that Felicien Kabuga is fit to stand trial. Age and infirmity do not supersede the need for accountability…Together with survivors of the genocide against the Tutsi everywhere, we look forward to justice being done.”