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Trial of elderly Rwanda genocide suspect opens at UN court

KEYT

By MIKE CORDER
Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A frail 87-year-old Rwandan accused of encouraging and bankrolling the country’s 1994 genocide has refused to attend the opening of his trial at a United Nations tribunal, nearly three decades after the 100-day massacre left 800,000 dead. Félicien Kabuga is one of the last fugitives charged over the genocide to face justice and, even without him in court Thursday, the start of his trial marks a key day of reckoning for Rwandans who survived the killings. The slaughter of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority was ignited on April 6, 1994, when a plane carrying the country’s president was shot down, killing the leader who, like the majority of Rwandans, was an ethnic Hutu. Kabuga has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum life sentence.

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