Arusha, 6 May 2008 (FH) - The Kenyan government has applied for a court order to seize property belonging to Felicien Kabuga, alleged financier of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and has been wanted for several years by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), according to AFP from Nairobi.

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The Kenyan Attorney , Mr. Keriako Tobiko, requested Tuesday the High Court of Kenya to temporarily put under sequestration the rents of the "Spanish Villa" property, located in Nairobi, which have been up to now versed into an account in Belgium that is in the name of the wife of Mr Kabuga, Josephine Mukazitoni.

"It is good news but additional efforts must be deployed (by Kenya) to ensure his arrest'', reacted the spokesperson of the ICTR, Roland Amoussouga to Hirondelle Agency.

"Our absolute priority is obviously the arrest of Kabuga. Any additional action by Kenyan authorities in the direction will be highly appreciated", added Amoussouga.

He said that Mr Kabuga is the subject of a particular resolution from the Security Council.

At the end of September 2006, the Prosecutor of ICTR), Hassan Bubacar Jallow, had pressed Kenya to arrest Mr Kabuga who has been hiding in the East African country and conducting business activities. He said intelligence reports from their tracking team had reportedly pointed that Kabuga was in Kenya.

The following month, the Kenyan police had renewed its calls for his arrest, presenting him as an "extremely dangerous fugitive".

Accused of having ordered machetes which were used in the massacres of 1994, Kabuga is the ICTR's most wanted suspect.

He had initially taken refuge in Switzerland before escaping to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), then to Kenya; where he escaped at least three from attempts to arrest him.

He is suspected of having received protection on behalf of the former Kenyan President, Daniel Arap Moi. Kabuga's son-in-law, Augustin Ngirabatware, former minister of planning, was arrested in Germany in September 2007. The indictment was issued by the ICTR; but the tribunal has not obtained his transfer to Arusha yet.

A member of the Rwandan presidential party of the time, the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), Mr. Kabuga was also a family relative of the former Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, whose assassination on 6 April 1994 sparked the genocide.

Besides Kabuga, 12 others persons accused by the ICTR are still at large as the Security Council has requested the tribunal to finish this year the first instance trials.


© Hirondelle News Agency