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Carsten Stahn on UN tribunal orders alternative for accused Rwanda genocide financier

The man prosecutors say bankrolled the 1994 Rwandan genocide is too ill to stand trial, but the judges in his case said they want to continue with a different type of inquiry. Félicien Kabuga, 90, is suffering from severe dementia. Judges want to move ahead with alternative proceedings that would not involve sentencing, but his defence team argues the tribunal is not a truth commission.

A trial without punishment

'This is the first time in international criminal justice we see such an alternative being proposed,' said Carsten Stahn, Professor of International Criminal Law at Leiden University, in an interview with Courthouse news.
Judges at both the Rwanda tribunal and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - the UN tribunal set up to prosecute crimes during the breakup of Yugoslavia - have the discretion to develop their own procedures and have in the past taken creative approaches to the mandates set before them. 

Prosecutors would be responsible for the same burden of proof to show that Kabuga had committed the six counts of genocide, murder and extermination he is charged with. But since he is unable to participate, there would be no sentence if he is found guilty. ‘A trial without punishment,’ is how Stahn describes it. 

Read the full article in Courthouse News 

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