Felicien Kabuga, the man accused of financing the Rwandan genocide in 1994 has denied playing a role in the massacres.
He was arraigned for the first time at the Paris Court of Appeal on Wednesday, May 27, where it will be decided whether he will be transferred to an international court.
After the presiding judge read out the offenses that Kabuga was accused of, including genocide, persecution, and extermination against Rwanda’s Tutsi minority, Kabuga denied the charges.
“Those are all lies,” Kabuga said through an interpreter. “I would not have killed my customers. They are lies,” the tea and coffee tycoon, said during the bail hearing
The French court refused to release Kabuga, who appeared in court in a wheelchair on bail, despite his lawyer’s argument that he is in poor health.
At the next session, scheduled for June 3, the court will decide whether to hand him over to an international court.
The 84-year-old businessman, who was living under a false identity in a flat in Asnieres-Sur-Seine, near Paris, was arrested earlier this month after 25-years on the run.
The United States had placed a $5 million bounty on his head over crimes allegedly committed during the 1994 genocide.
He was accused of funding and arming the militias that massacred 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus over a span of 100 days in 1994. Kabuga also co-owned the Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM), which spread ethnic hatred against Tutsis and encouraged people to search out and kill anyone who was from the ethnic group.