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Kabuga: Police eat humble pie

NAIROBI, June 15 – Police Saturday night uncovered the real identity of a man they arrested on suspicion of being Rwandese Genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga and confirmed it wasn’t the most wanted fugitive.

Police announced the man was not Kabuga as earlier thought by detectives who detained and interrogated him.

After hours of speculation and intense pressure, Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe issued a statement late Saturday and clarified the facts.

He said detectives had acted following information received at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters to the effect that a ‘most wanted man’ globally had been sighted in the outskirts of the Capital, Nairobi.

Part of Kiraithe’s statement read: “On the 13th day of June, 2008 CID Headquarters received information that a person suspected to be Felicien Kabuga had been sighted in Ole-polos  near Ngong town in the outskirts of Nairobi.”

He said Police immediately launched investigations to ascertain the true identity of the suspect.

“Police investigations have now established that the suspected person is actually a Kenyan of Rwandese decent and he has been pursuing his intellectual and professional pursuits legally,” he said in the statement.

Earlier, the deputy Police Spokesman Charles Owino had told the press that the person in custody was ‘a very crucial suspect.’

“We are not hiding anything from the public. The person we are holding is very crucial. We can not confirm or deny that he is Kabuga because detectives are still investigating the matter,” he said in a telephone interview on Saturday.

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After the investigations, which included a DNA test, police concluded that the suspect in their custody was not Kabuga who is wanted for the massacre of more than 800,000 people killed during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

Kiraithe said investigations had shown that the suspect was a lecturer at a local public university who had no connections whatsoever with the wanted fugitive.

Kenya has been under intense pressure to produce Kabuga following reports that he was hiding in the country and carrying out business.

Top government officials, mainly the police and others in charge of security were accused of protecting him.

Two years ago, a high powered team of detectives backed by the Rwandan Tribunal were deployed to Nairobi to search for the fugitive but their operation did not succeed.

Kabuga, an ethnic Hutu, has been accused of being a key financier and supplying machetes and other weapons which were used to massacre of 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis, in only 100 days.
Born in 1935, the wealthy businessman is said to be a frequent traveller in various African nations where he buys protection.

He has been on the run for 14 years.

A five-million-dollar American bounty is on his head since being indicted by the ICTR for his role in the Rwandan blood bath that shocked the world.

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