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Prosecutor Brammertz statement on Kabuga Decision

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Arusha, The Hague, 8 August 2023 – I have carefully reviewed the Appeal Chamber’s decision in the Kabuga case. Its decision must be respected, even if the outcome is dissatisfying.

This result is due first and foremost to Kabuga’s flight from justice for so many years. In full knowledge of his actions before and during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, he refused to stand trial before an independent and impartial international tribunal to answer the charges against him. As a fugitive, he was harbored by his family and associates, beginning in Kenya and ending in France.

My thoughts are with the victims and survivors of the Genocide. They have maintained their faith in the justice process over the last three decades. I know that this outcome will be distressing and disheartening to them. Having visited Rwanda recently, I heard very clearly how important it was that this trial be concluded.

I would like to assure them, though, that my Office will not stop our work on their behalf. As the recent arrest of Fulgence Kayishema highlighted, accountability for crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda must continue in courts in Rwanda and countries around the world. My Office will provide our full support. In particular, as requested by the Prosecutor General of Rwanda, we will significantly strengthen our assistance to his office, including through the provision of our evidence and developed expertise, to ensure more genocide fugitives stand trial for their alleged crimes.

This decision may be a disappointment, but I can assure the victims and survivors that it is not the end of the justice process.

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