UPDATE: Neither Nkunda nor his lawyer appeared for the June 11, 2010 court appearance, which has now been re-scheduled for Friday, September 24, 2010. See HOW OR WHERE'S NKUNDA?
Tomorrow is Friday, June 11, 2010 - the day the government of Rwanda has promised (again) that General Laurent Nkunda will get his day in court to face his accusers and ask to hear their accusations against him.
Nkunda, about whom I've written extensively on ORWELL TODAY over the past few years, is - in my well-researched opinion - a modern-day hero fighting on the side of good against the forces of evil in Congo. See dozens of articles listed under KNOW NKUNDA CONGO.
In the 17 months that have passed since Nkunda was lured to Rwanda under false pretences and then arrested, he hasn't been seen alive by any journalist - although the Rwandan government alleges he's safe under house arrest. See KAGAME HELPING NKUNDA NOT & NKUNDA ORWELLIAN REFS UNPERSON? & NKUNDA SAFE LIKE LUMUMBA? & NKUNDA SEEKING KAGAME MEETING.
It's 8 am Thursday morning here in Canada where I live, and in Rwanda it's ten hours later - 6 pm in the evening.
Later tonight - and in the wee hours of tomorrow morning our time - Nkunda is due to arrive at court in Kigali. That means, when we wake up tomorrow, the international and Rwandan news should be covering the much-anticipated event. There should be photos of Nkunda in court - just as there were of the American lawyer arrested in Rwanda last week for being sympathetic to the genocidal Rwandan Hutus Nkunda was fighting against in the Congo. See GENOCIDE LAWYER TRIALS & TRIBS
Why did Erlinder - a defender of genocidaires - get his day in Rwandan court but not Nkunda - a fighter against genocidaires?
Tonight, before I go to sleep, I'll be praying Rwanda does the right thing for Nkunda tomorrow. ~ Jackie Jura
Political arrests will hurt Rwanda, Independent, Oct 5, 2010 (...There is also a pending case of a Congolese national, Gen. Laurent Nkunda, who was arrested in Rwanda on January 22, 2009. He has never appeared in court, his family has expressed serious concerns.... The Constitution of Rwanda, which Kagame vowed to protect a few weeks ago, guarantees all these detainees and every Rwandan citizen a right to appear in court and to a fair hearing....)
READER HAS RWANDA CONFUSION (interested in knowing what happened during 1990-1994)
HOW OR WHERE'S NKUNDA? (reader asks if anyone has contact to Nkunda)
Rwanda court postpones Nkunda release hearing, AFP, Jun 11, 2010
Kigali - A Rwandan military court in Kigali on Friday postponed the hearing of a plea to release Laurent Nkunda, a former rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of his lawyers said. Aime Bokanga said that the postponement of the case which had been set to take place on Friday was due to the absence of main defence lawyer, Stephan Bourgon of Canada. "He informed the tribunal that he was detained by another case in The Hague. The audience was therefore postponed until September 24," Bokanga said. Nkunda has been held since January 2009. A hearing due to take place on May 11 was called off for the lack of an interpreter, since the court decided that the debate would take place in Kinyarwanda, which Bourgon does not understand....
Rwanda military court postpones Nkunda release hearing, News Africa, May 11, 2010
A military court in Rwanda Tuesday postponed the hearing of a plea seeking the release of Laurent Nkunda, a former rebel chief in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of his lawyers said. "The court pushed the date back to June 11 to leave time to find an interpreter to facilitate the hearing," Aime Bokanga told AFP. Nkunda's other defence counsel, the Canadian lawyer Stephan Bourgon, does not understand the local Kinyarwanda language that the military court has chosen for the proceedings, Bokanga explained. Nkunda has been held since January 2009. His lawyers say General James Kabarebe, the former Rwandan army chief of staff who was appointed defence minister last month, is responsible for the "arrest and illegal detention" of their client. In late March Rwanda's supreme court ruled that given Kabarebe's military status it was not competent to hear the plea. Nkunda was arrested in Gisenyi on January 22, 2009, when he was head of the rebel National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) movement, according to people close to him. In October 2008, Nkunda's men routed the DR Congolese army in Nord-Kivu province and threatened to take the strategic provincial capital, Goma, near the border with Rwanda. But after a shift in alliances, the Congolese and Rwandan armies in January 2009 launched an unprecedented joint operation targeting Rwandan Hutu rebels in eastern DR Congo which also resulted in Nkunda's arrest.
Gen. Laurent Nkunda case set for Rwanda military court hearing, New Vision, Apr 3, 2010
Rwanda's Supreme Court has ruled that only the country's military court can hear a plea seeking the release of former Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda, his lawyer said on Saturday. Aime Bokanga, counsel for the former leader of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), told Reuters he was relieved that his client had finally secured a court hearing but disappointed the court had not ruled his detention illegal. Nkunda has been under house arrest since Jan. 22, 2009 after entering Rwanda from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where his CNDP rebel force had repeatedly routed the army. After two wars between the Great Lakes neighbours and years trading accusations of backing the other's rebels, Rwanda and Congo mended relations in a deal that analysts say hinged on Nkunda's arrest and Rwandan help ending the rebellion. But Nkunda has not been charged in Rwandan courts, nor has the central African nation yielded to Congolese calls to transfer him to Kinshasa, which accuses him of war crimes. Bokanga said the court argued that General James Kabarebe, Rwanda's Chief of Defence staff, was responsible for Nkunda's detention and so only a military court would determine his fate. "The most important thing for us now is to prove to court that Laurent Nkunda is illegally being detained," he said. "Now the Supreme Court has made a decision for the military court to hear this case. We have been told that the file will be transferred to the military court next week. At least there is some satisfaction that finally the case will be heard." Despite the ruling, Bokanga expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court did not rule on the legality of Nkunda's detention. "It is also quite disappointing because the case is dragging. Rwandan law gives the Supreme Court judge the ability to make a ruling without referring this case to another court. The Supreme Court could have taken cognisance of this case." Bokanga said he would advise his client to seek legal redress in an international court if they run out of options. Rwandan Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama said the case had taken a long time because international law and the laws of two countries had to be taken into account. "The Supreme Court has now identified a court that is competent," he told Reuters. "He is a general accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. You don't just take that person and hand over to authorities on the Congo border ... let's give the judiciary a chance to finish it."
Nkunda has been arrested but who will arrest Kagame?, by Prof. Peter Erlinder
Global Research, Feb 2, 2009
On January 24, Rwandan President Paul Kagame sent 4,000 troops into the Congo to arrest rebel "tutsi" warlord, Laurent Nkunda, and wipe-out the remaining "hutu-genocidaires" lurking in the eastern Congo. As the New York Times reported in early December 2008, Nkunda is a former Rwandan Army officer and many of his troops also came from Rwanda, including child-soldiers recruited with Rwandan assistance. The arrest was a surprise because Rwanda’s military and Kagame, himself, had been supporting Nkunda’s “terror” in the eastern Congo for years. The Times later reported that Nkunda is not actually imprisoned in Rwanda, and that the real reason for the "arrest" may have been that he had become a political liability for Kagame. He simply knows too much about Rwandan crimes in the Congo and during the 1994 Rwandan "genocide" for Kagame to permit him to remain "on the loose."....In 1961 Patrice Lumumba was assassinated, not arrested. Of course, if Nkunda begins to spill what he knows about Kagame's crimes in Rwanda and the Congo "accidents" can happen. The most recent Rwandan invasion to throw Nkunda “under the bus” in an effort to shore-up Kagame’s image is actually an admission of the deep trouble in which Kagame finds himself....
RWANDA REP DEFENDS KAGAME (...One day before the 12th commemoration of the genocide, Prof. Peter Erlinder sent an open letter to Hon. Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, therein he denies, minimizes, justifies the 1994 genocide and attempts to portray a negative image of the Rwandan President Paul Kagame, snubbing the role he played in halting the genocide and the one he is playing in the national reconstruction and reconciliation process. In his letter, Peter Erlinder completely denies the fact that genocide took place in Rwanda and prefers to use ambiguous, misleading and distortious terminologies such as “terrible massacres”, “horrific events”, “massive civilian killings”, “civilian-civilian massacres”....)
GENOCIDAIRE LAWYER WRITES CANADA (...Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper: Regarding State Visit of Current President of Rwanda, April 6, 2006, by Prof. Peter Erlinder, ICTR Lead Defence Counsel Past-President, National Lawyers Guild, N.Y.C. USA Wm. Mitchell College of Law 875 Summit Av. St. Paul, Minnesota....)
KNOW NKUNDA CONGO
RWANDA'S GOOD MAN KAGAME
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