Defence lawyers for an elderly Rwandan businessman accused of inciting and financing murderous militias that slaughtered men, women and children during the African nation’s 1994 genocide told United Nations judges on Friday that prosecutors built a weak and unsubstantiated case aimed at turning him into the “perfect culprit.”
Lawyer Dov Jacobs told judges at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals that the case against Félicien Kabuga was built on “weak, unverified, unauthenticated, unsubstantiated evidence riddled with unverified hearsay.”
The defence opening statement came a day after prosecutors opened Kabuga’s trial by saying he played “a central role in provoking hatred of Tutsis, dehumanizing innocent civilians and paving the way for genocide.”
Kabuga has pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide, incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide as well as persecution, extermination and murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
- An AP report