Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga has been arrested near Paris after 25 years on the run, according to the French justice ministry.
The 84-year-old, who is Rwanda’s most-wanted man and had a $5m bounty on his head, was living under a false identity in a flat in Asnieres-Sur-Seine, the ministry said.
French gendarmes arrested him at 05:30 GMT on Saturday, the ministry added.
A Hutu businessman, Kabuga is accused of funding militias that massacred about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus over 100 days in 1994.
“Since 1994, Felicien Kabuga, known to have been the financier of Rwanda genocide, had with impunity stayed in Germany, Belgium, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, or Switzerland,” the statement said.
The arrest paves the way for bringing the fugitive in front of the Paris appeal court and later to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, it said.
Kabuga was indicted on genocide charges by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Two other Rwandan genocide suspects, Augustin Bizimana and Protais Mpiranya, are still being pursued by international justice.
Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), said Kabuga’s arrest is a reminder that those responsible for genocide can be brought to account, “even 26 years after their crimes”.
He added: “Today’s arrest underlines the strength of our determination.”