GENOCIDE LAWYER TRIALS & TRIBS
A couple weeks ago Peter Erlinder, an American lawyer who defends accused and convicted planners and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, was arrested in Rwanda for being a genocide denier.
American lawyer arrested in Rwanda for denying genocide, Minneapolis News, May 28, 2010
Attorney Peter Erlinder attends Rwanda bail hearing, YouTube, Jun 9, 2010
Ironically, or doublethink Orwellianly, Erlinder has already had his day in Rwandan court whereas Laurent Nkunda - a Congolese fighter against the genocidaires Erlinder defended - was arrested by Rwanda 17 months ago and is still waiting. See NKUNDA DUE HIS DAY IN COURT
Erlinder hates Nkunda as much as he hates Kagame and accuses them both of being genocidal Tutsis against Hutus, as described in an article he wrote last year:
Nkunda has been arrested but who will arrest Kagame? (The Real Authors of the Congo Crimes), by Prof. Peter Erlinder, Global Research, Feb 2, 2009 (...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....
Cutting off all western aid to Rwanda, like the Dutch and the Swedes; arresting Kagame and his henchmen under existing INTERPOL warrants, like the Germans; and prosecuting Kagame at the UN Rwanda Tribunal, or the International Criminal Court, will save far more African lives than any “foreign-aid for Africa" program than President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton could possibly conceive. One difficulty, of course, is that the “cover-up” of Kagame’s 1994 crimes in Rwanda was initiated under her predecessor Warren Christopher, Bill Clinton's Secretary of State. Which, in turn, raises difficult questions about Clinton’s foreign policy in central Africa, as well. If Mr. Kagame ever does find himself in the dock, after having been “Saddamized” by his former patrons, it will be very interesting to learn what he will have to say about his own crimes in the Congo and in Rwanda…and his "special relationship" with several US administrations that has assisted the “cover-up” of those crimes.…which, may have something to do with why the “Kagame Impunity” policy as continued this long....
In 2006 I posted a couple articles about Erlinder protesting Kagame's upcoming visit to Canada. See GENOCIDAIRE LAWYER WRITES CANADA & RWANDA REP DEFENDS KAGAME
Last November 2009 I received an email from Erlinder (must be on his recipient list) gloating over the UN's release of the convicted genocidal priest, Nsengimana and others. I'm posting it now on ORWELL TODAY, along with articles to do with Erlinder and other cases of genocidaires he's defended - including the worst of the worst like "Mr Zed" and General Bagosora (of SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL fame). This will bring readers up to date on Erlinder's trials and tribulations. ~ Jackie Jura
To Orwell Today,
Arusha, Tanzania, November 17, 2009
The Bureau of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
& The Association of Advocates for the Defense (ADAD)
welcomes the acquittal of Father Hormisdas Nsengimana
on charges of Genocide and "Genocide Planning"
Arusha, Tanzania, Nov/17/09 -- The Bureau of ICTR-ADAD (Association des Avocats de la Defense), welcomes today's Trial Chamber Judgement acquitting the second defendant in as many days. The court ordered the immediate release of Fr. Hormisdas Nsengimana, who was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda in 1994. This week's acquittals follow the Dec. 2008 acquittal on "genocide conspiracy or planning" charges of Gen. Gratien Kabiligi and three senior military officers including the alleged mastermind of the genocide, Theoneste Bagosora. The acquittal was published in February 2009.
The lack of evidence of "planning or conspiracy to commit genocide" requires a complete re-examination of the undeniable wave of violence that swept Rwanda in 1994, and the end of a 4-year war which began when Paul Kagame's RPF army invaded from Uganda. The war exploded into mass civilian violence when Rwandan President Habyarimana, and Burundi's President Ntaryamira, were assassinated in an April 1994 missile attack on Habyarimana's plane.
Defense Counsel Emmanuel Altit (France) and David Hooper (U.K.) established that the Prosecution lacked sufficient evidence to prove that Nsengimana, who was a priest and rector of a prestigious Catholic secondary school in Butare, was at the center of a group of Hutu extremists that allegedly planned targeted attacks in 1994. The trial court found insufficient factual and legal basis for concluding that Nsengimana was guilty of any crimes. Nsengimana's attorneys announced they would seek compensation for his years of unlawful incarceration. ICTR Judges Møse (Norway), Sergei Egorov (Russian Federation) and Arrey (Cameroon) issued the acquittal. Judges Mose and Egorov, with Judge Jai Jam Reddy (Fiji), also acquitted the senior military officers in the Military-1 case.
In February 2009, the English edition of a memoir by former ICTR Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte confirmed major elements (it was two pages, Peter!!) of a 2007 book by her former press aide, Florence Hartmann. Both books described in detail how Ms. Del Ponte was removed from her ICTR position for insisting on fulfilling her mandate to prosecute all crimes in Rwanda in 1994. According to Del Ponte and Hartmann, the ICTR Prosecutor was called to the U.S. State Department and ordered to drop investigations of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his military because of close ties between the U.S. government and Rwanda. Hartmann was prosecuted at the ICTY for having published the book and Del Ponte has been ordered not to discuss her book in public, according to contemporary press accounts.
-Prof. Peter Erlinder, ADAD President
contact ADAD Bureau: Peter Erlinder at 31(0)70 345 92 00 (Hague) or 651-271-4616 (Maine, USA)
John Philpot at 0755 352 931 (Arusha) or 514-844-4655 (Quebec, Canada)
Academics, Lawyers and Journalists joined as one in Genocide Denial
Rwanda New Times, Sep 8, 2010
...The arrest of American Law Professor Peter Erlinder in Kigali, Rwanda on May 28, 2010 by Rwandan authorities was an important historical moment vis-à-vis how the fact and the rhetoric of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi operate in the international arena. The reaction to Erlinder’s trial on charges of genocide denial by many in the Western media, academia and government says much about the continued use of double standards to judge this genocide in Africa compared to similar events in Europe. History repeated itself. The US government which, in the summer of 1994, denied as long as it could that genocide was happening in Rwanda, in June 2010 pleaded for Erlinder who denies it ever happened. P.J. Crowley, State Department spokesman, told reporters on June 3, 2010 that U.S. officials were closely monitoring Erlinder’s situation and had been in touch with officials in Rwanda. “We want to be sure that he is accorded all of his rights,” Crowley said. “We are pressing the Rwandan government to resolve this case quickly and would like to see him released on compassionate grounds.”...
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 genocide tribunal lawyers fear for their safety after colleague's arrest (denial of Peter Erlinder's bail prompts more than 30 defence lawyers to issue joint statement to UN court), Guardian, Jun 8, 2010
Peter Erlinder, Professor of Law (...Professor Erlinder is a frequent litigator or consultant, often pro bono, in cases involving the death penalty, civil rights, claims of government and police misconduct, and criminal defense of political activists. He is also a frequent news commentator.... Defense Attorney at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 2003-....)
Rwanda: No Conspiracy, No Genocide Planning ... No Genocide?, Jurist, Dec 24, 2008 (Guest Columnist Peter Erlinder of William Mitchell College of Law and a Lead Defense Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), says that if - as the ICTR recently ruled in the "Military I" trial - alleged "masterminds" Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and fellow top Rwandan military officers engaged in no conspiracy and no planning to kill ethnic civilians, the tragedy that engulfed Rwanda in 1994 may not properly be called a "genocide" at all...)
THE RWANDA DOCUMENTS PROJECT (was started by Professor Peter Erlinder of William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota as a result of his work as a defense attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The goal of the Project is to collect and make available primary source materials from international and national agencies, governments, and courts that relate to the political and social history of Rwanda from 1990 to the present....)
GENOCIDAIRES DENY RWANDA GENOCIDE (reader Josh says killings were chaos/murder/butchery/war crime but not genocide). Email, Nov 14, 2009
Release of Rwanda’s mastermind of death promotes genocide denial
("Mr Z's" freedom bolsters confidence of those who said
the mass killings in Rwanda were not planned)
by Patrick Karuretwa, Harvard Law Record, Dec 4, 2009
... On November 16, the ICTR reversed a 20 year prison sentence and ordered the immediate release of Protais Zigiranyirazo (“Mr. Z”). Based on a finding of ‘serious errors’ in the first chamber’s handling of the defendant’s alibi, the decision immediately sparked a wave of protest and consternation in Rwanda and the Rwandan diaspora....But Mr. Z is not your usual genocide suspect. He is largely considered one of its masterminds. Many feared him too much to pronounce his full name, for Mr. Z is the brother of Agathe Kanziga, wife of the former Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana. Zigiranyirazo’s reputation as a radical extremist went beyond Rwanda’s borders. In 1993, he was expelled from the Université de Québec à Montréal – and then from Canada altogether – after being convicted of uttering death threats against Tutsi refugees in Montreal. He moved back to Rwanda, where he was already known as the head of the ‘Akazu’, an informal but powerful organization revolving around the former president’s wife, who controlled the ominous ‘Zero Network’ death squads....
‘Mr. Z’ was reportedly still stunned by the appeal chamber’s decision when a news release co-signed by his lead defense attorney, Jean Philpot, celebrated the rejection, for the second time, of the charge againt him of genocide planning. The press release also calls for “the ICTR trials to be halted, ICTR convictions to be reviewed by an independent UN Commission, and the conditional release of detainees”. Interestingly enough, Jean Philpot is the brother of no other than Robin Philpot, the Canadian politician who, in 2007, attracted intense media attention for repeatedly denying the 1994 genocide of the Tutsis.
For Jean Philpot, Peter Erlinder and others, the concept is quite simple: no planning = no intent = no genocide. But the genocide deniers’ campaign goes beyond the ICTR trials. A small but very active group of academics, often with ties of some kind to the ICTR defense lawyers, does not miss an opportunity to propagate their revisionist views. In the words of Professor Gerald Caplan: “the deniers’ reach and influence has been spreading, metastasizing like a malignant cancer, thanks to the anarchy of the blogosphere and to the embrace of the deniers’ arguments by a small but influential number of left-wing, anti-American journals and websites. Google Rwanda and you will quite likely get a deniers’ rant featuring the tiny band of usual suspects...."
KILLING FOSSEY LEAST ZED CRIME
Defense lawyers excited after six Genocide acquittals
Save Rwanda, Nov 19, 2010
Kigali: Government of Rwanda reacted with dismay on Monday and Tuesday as two Genocide suspects were cleared and freed, but the defense lawyers of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda say there is more to come, RNA reports. On Monday, Protais Zigiranyirazo known as “Mr. Z”, the brother-in-law of the former President Juvenal Habyarimana was freed. Barely 24 hours later, the catholic priest Father Hormisdas Nsengimana – alleged to have led a “death squad” to kill his own Tutsi students, was also cleared. The Bureau of ICTR-ADAD, the association of defense lawyers has now said in a statement that it “welcomes” the Trial Chamber Judgement acquitting another accused “in as many days”.
This week’s acquittals follow the December 2008 acquittal on “genocide conspiracy or planning” charges of Gen. Gratien Kabiligi and three senior military officers including the alleged mastermind of the mass slaughter, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora. The acquittal was published in February 2009. Though the two cleared this week of all the allegations against them were released immediately, the above soldiers were found guilty of other aspects on their charge sheets. “The lack of evidence of “planning or conspiracy to commit genocide” requires a complete re-examination of the undeniable wave of violence that swept Rwanda in 1994, and the end of a 4-year war which began” when President ruling RPF rebels came in from Uganda, according to ADAD.
The rebel war culminated into a massive government offensive which exploded into mass civilian violence. On April 06, 1994 - when Rwandan President Habyarimana and Burundi’s President Ntaryamira were assassinated, the mass slaughter spread. In deciding on the accusations against the catholic priest, the three-man trial court found “insufficient factual and legal basis for concluding that Father Nsengimana was guilty of any crimes. The French defense lawyer Emmanuel Altit has already announced the team would seek compensation for his years of unlawful incarceration. But the prosecutor has also indicated he will appeal against the release of the priest who is still in Tanzania and can be re-arrested. ICTR Judges Møse (Norway), Sergei Egorov (Russian Federation) and Arrey (Cameroon) issued the priest’s acquittal. Interestingly, Judges Mose and Egorov, with Judge Jai Jam Reddy (Fiji), also acquitted the senior military officers in the Military-1 case of Bagosora, Kabiligi, Ntabakuze and Nsengiyumva.
UN court acquits priest of genocide in Rwanda
Reuters, Nov 18, 2009
Dar Es Salaam - A priest accused of genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 Rwandan genocide has been acquitted, the second release in as many days, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said on Tuesday. The U.N. court ordered the immediate release of Father Hormisdas Nsengimana, who was a priest at a Catholic secondary school during the three months of slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus in 1994. The court said it could not conclude that Nsengimana, 55, was guilty of any of the crimes, which included killing Tutsi priests, a judge and other Tutsi victims. "The Chamber did not find a sufficient factual and legal basis for concluding that Nsengimana was guilty of any of the crimes," the tribunal said.
The prosecution said Nsengimana was at the centre of a group of Hutu extremists that planned and carried out targeted attacks and participated directly in killings. Nsengimana has been in prison since his arrest in Cameroon in 2002. He is the second indicted person to be released by the ICTR, based in Arusha in northern Tanzania, in as many days. On Monday an appeals chamber acquitted Protais Zigiranyirazo, known as "Mr. Z", of genocide and extermination after he was previously sentenced to 20 years. Judges reversed the conviction citing several serious factual and legal errors. ICTR spokesman Roland Amoussouga told Reuters the acquittals were not a disappointment for the court. "It's not a sign of a problem," he said by telephone. "This is to show you that the justice system is not one way -- it can go both ways. He said that so far 39 people have been convicted of 47 cases. "It's an incredible record of efficiency on the part of the prosecution. This is the first stage of the process, now we have to see whether the prosecution will appeal today's judgment," he said.
Ibuka threatens to cut ties with ICTR
by Eugene Mutra, New Times, Nov 18, 2009
Kigali - The president of Ibuka, an umbrella body of Genocide survivorss associations, has threatened to cease cooperation with the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for what the group described as “unfair judgment” in two cases where top Genocide suspects were acquitted. Theodore Simburudari accused the ICTR of regularly neglecting and watering down testimonies given by 1994 Genocide survivors. “Most testimonies from the witnesses are neglected yet those given by close relatives of the Genocide suspects or other suspects detained in Rwanda are highly considered,” Simburudari said. “We don’t see any reason for continuing our cooperation with that court.” ICTR recently acquitted Protais Zigiranyirazo, the brother-in-law of former President Juvenal Habyarimana and a Catholic priest, Father Hormisdas Nsengimana. Simburudari also accused ICTR investigators of having a tendency of misrepresenting useful evidence. He petitioned UN Security Council, the instituting organ of the court, to evaluate ICTR and retain what he called only competent employees who will produce unbiased work. Simburudari also asked government of Rwanda to support and advance their plea to UN Security Council.
Rwanda: Mucyo Blames ICTR Prosecutors for Priest's Release
by Gashegu Muramira, All Africa, Nov 18, 2009
Kigali — The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Jean de Dieu Mucyo has attributed the release of Priest Hormisdas Nsengimana to laxity by prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Nsengimana was yesterday acquitted by the tribunal's trial Chamber I, composed of Judges Erik Møse (Norway), presiding, Sergei Alekseevich Egorov and Florence Rita Arrey. The Catholic Priest had been accused of Genocide, Conspiracy to commit Genocide, and crimes against humanity, murder and extermination. The Chamber did not find a sufficient factual and legal basis for concluding that Nsengimana was guilty of any of the crimes, although prosecution had requested a life sentence for the priest for killing innocent people in Nyanza, Southern Province. But Mucyo described the release as a 'sad and unfortunate moment' adding that all this should be blamed on the ICTR prosecution which he said takes their work lightly when it comes to pinning Genocide suspects.
"It's very painful; Zigiranyirazo has just been acquitted and we are getting such a case again, there must be something planned ahead," Mucyo said. The CNLG boss added that the ICTR prosecution has on a number of occasions been caught up in situations where its witnesses are bribed just to doctor testimonies that would have pinned Genocide suspects. At the time of his alleged crimes, Nsengimana was the head of the Christ the King College of Nyanza, Southern Province, where he was a leader of a death squad that included his members of staff. Nsegimana's acquittal comes just a day after the tribunal released Protais Zigiranyirazo an influential member of the infamous Akazu, and hardly a year after the release of Brigadier Gracien Kabiligi a man many consider played a strong military role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis....
Nsegimana he purportedly participated directly and indirectly in killings. The Prosecution sought to establish his criminal responsibility for the deaths of several Tutsi priests, a judge, and many other Tutsi victims. He was also alleged to have established and supervised at least three roadblocks in the vicinity of Christ-Roi, which were mounted to intercept and eliminate Tutsis. The Chamber did not find a sufficient factual and legal basis for concluding that Nsengimana was guilty of any of the crimes. Nsengimana was arrested in Cameroon in March 2002 and made his initial appearance before the Tribunal in April 2002. The trial commenced on 22 June 2007 and concluded on 17 September 2008. Nineteen Prosecution witnesses and 24 Defence witnesses, including Nsengimana, testified during the proceedings. Oral arguments were held on 12 and 13 February 2009. The Prosecution team was led by Senior Trial Attorney Wallace Kapaya and included Brian Wallace. Nsengimana was represented by Emmanuel Altit (France) and David Hooper (United Kingdom).
Rwandan priest cleared of genocide charges
by Dan Bergin, Catholic News, Nov 17, 2009
A UN court today acquitted a Catholic priest charged with genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda ordered the immediate release of Father Hormisdas Nsengimana, 55, who was a priest at a Catholic secondary school during the three months of slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus in 1994. Judges reversed an earlier conviction, citing several serious factual and legal errors. They said they could not conclude that Fr Nsengimana, was guilty of any of the crimes, which included killing Tutsi priests, a judge and other Tutsi victims. "The Chamber did not find a sufficient factual and legal basis for concluding that Nsengimana was guilty of any of the crimes," the tribunal said. Father Nsengimana, had been imprisoned for seven years since his 2002 arrest in Cameroon. Judge Erik Mose ordered his immediate release from the UN detention facility in Arusha. "I wish for peace and reconciliation in Rwanda ... I thank God for this release," Fr Nsengimana told the press after his acquittal.
The tribunal, set up by the UN to try key suspects of the genocide, has now convicted 39 people and acquitted eight. Fr Nsengimana is one of the four Catholic priests indicted by the ICTR. Athanase Seromba, a former vicar in western Rwanda, is serving a life sentence. Emmanuel Rukundo, a former military chaplain, was sentenced in February to 25 years in prison. Fr Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a former priest at the Parish of the Holy Family in Kigali, is awaiting trial. At least 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during Rwanda's genocide, which began after President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was brought down in April 1994.
Nkunda has been arrested but who will arrest Kagame?
(The Real Authors of the Congo Crimes)
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." And, with good reason.... Cutting off all western aid to Rwanda, like the Dutch and the Swedes; arresting Kagame and his henchmen under existing INTERPOL warrants, like the Germans; and prosecuting Kagame at the UN Rwanda Tribunal, or the International Criminal Court, will save far more African lives than any “foreign-aid for Africa" program than President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton could possibly conceive. One difficulty, of course, is that the “cover-up” of Kagame’s 1994 crimes in Rwanda was initiated under her predecessor Warren Christopher, Bill Clinton's Secretary of State. Which, in turn, raises difficult questions about Clinton’s foreign policy in central Africa, as well. If Mr. Kagame ever does find himself in the dock, after having been “Saddamized” by his former patrons, it will be very interesting to learn what he will have to say about his own crimes in the Congo and in Rwanda…and his "special relationship" with several US administrations that has assisted the “cover-up” of those crimes.…which, may have something to do with why the “Kagame Impunity” policy as continued this long...
FRANCE CASE RE RWANDA SINKING (reader Joshua says he was once the key witness of French judge Bruguière)
EX FIRST LADY DENIES RWANDA GENOCIDE (Agathe Habyarimana was one of the powers behind the throne of her husband's 20-year presidency and was the centre of a powerful clique of northern Hutus called le clan de Madame or akazu. Her brother, Protais Zigiranyirazo, commonly known as Monsier Zed (Mr. Z) has been accused of collaborating in the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the 1985 murder of Dian Fossey...)
Rwanda genocide mastermind Bagosora jailed (video clip of trial shows Peter Erlinder)
BBC, Dec 18, 2008
Former senior defence official Theoneste Bagosora has been convicted of instigating Rwanda's 1994 genocide and sentenced to life in prison. Bagosora and two co-defendants were found by a UN tribunal to have led a committee that plotted the massacre of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. It is the first time the Rwanda tribunal has convicted anyone of organising the killings. More than 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda's genocide. Along with Bagosora, former military commanders Anatole Nsegiyumva and Alloys Ntabakuze were also found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and given life sentences. They were also responsible for drawing up a list of Tutsis and moderate Hutus who opposed their vision of an ethnically pure Rwanda. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), based in Tanzania, rejected the defence's argument that the killing was not organised, and therefore not genocide. Bagosora's lawyer, Raphael Constant, said his client would appeal against the verdict.
Brigadier Gratien Kabiligi, the former chief of military operations, who was on trial with Bagosora and the two other men, was cleared of all charges and ordered to be released from custody immediately. In another verdict on Thursday, the tribunal sentenced Protais Zigiranyirazo, 57, to 20 years in jail for his part in the genocide. Mr Zigiranyirazo, a brother-in-law of former President Juvenal Habyarimana, was accused of ordering Hutus to kill 48 people in two incidents.
The Rwandan government said it was "satisfied" with the court's decision to impose a life sentence on Bagosora. The Rwandan representative to the ICTR, Aloys Mutabingwa, said "justice has been delivered" but added that the acquittal of Kabiligi was "surprising". "The court ruled that Bagosora had the authority over the killers. It is the most important thing... There can never be genocide without planning," he said. Prosecutors said Bagosora assumed control of military and political affairs in Rwanda when President Habyarimana's plane was shot down in 1994 - the catalyst for the genocide. However, the indictment alleges that he began planning the massacre as far back as 1990. The following year, Bagosora helped draft a document circulated within the army that described Tutsis as "the principal enemy". Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, head of UN peacekeepers in Rwanda at the time, described Mr Bagosora as a "known extremist" and the "kingpin" behind the genocide.
Bagosora has been in custody since 1996, when he was arrested in Cameroon where he was in self-imposed exile. The trial, which began in 2002, was expected to last two years. The tribunal, which has come to play a key part in the process of justice and reconciliation, has so far convicted 34 people and acquitted six others. Twenty-three remain on trial and eight trials have yet to begin before the tribunal winds up next year. The effects of the genocide are still being felt in the region, in particular across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of the Hutu militias involved in the genocide fled to DR Congo, where Tutsi rebels, allegedly with some Rwandan backing, refuse to lay down their arms, saying they are being attacked by the Hutu fighters. Some 300,000 people have fled their homes in DR Congo this year because of this conflict.
ICTR 'shoots down' Genocide Defence Lawyer. All Africa, Apr 28, 2006
Barely days after the Rwandan government had sent a harsh missive to a defence lawyer at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the tribunal has gone against tradition and strongly rebuked the same lawyer. In a press release made public on Wednesday, the spokesperson of the ICTR Tim Gallimore said that an open letter by Professor Peter Erlinder, lead counsel for Major Aloys Ntabakuze who is on trial for genocide, did not express the views of the tribunal. "The letter is not a communication from, or on behalf of, the tribunal. The ICTR formally and officially disassociates itself from the views expressed in the letter", said Gallimore. "The professor is hired to defend his client, not to file motions unrelated to his case"...
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”.... This is the strategy many defence lawyers have used at the ICTR to secure their employment and thus their living even while their legal professionalism and ethics remain in coma....)
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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