PARIS: Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga was arraigned before a French public prosecutor on Tuesday, three days after police swooped on his hideout in a Paris suburb, ending a 26-year manhunt.

The 84-year-old is accused of funding and arming militias that massacred about 800,000 people. He was indicted in 1997 on seven criminal counts including genocide, all in relation to the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Kabuga arrived at the Paris Appeals Court complex under heavy police protection. Outriders flanked the convoy and armed officers guarded the entrance. The hearing began about three hours later, a judicial source said.

The prosecutor was to set out the legal process before the case is passed to investigative judges who will decide whether to transfer Kabuga to a UN court handling alleged crimes against humanity.

At least one French-based genocide victim support group said it was considering legal action to unearth how Kabuga was able to go underground in France and what help he had received.

“He was our Klaus Barbie, our (Adolf) Eichmann,” said Etienne Nsanzimana, president of support group Ibuka France, referring to two prominent Nazi war criminals.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2020