Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Rwanda / Genocide Denial

US Lawyer Retracts Rwanda "Genocide Denial" Remarks
By Hereward Holland
Reuters dispatch on, June 2, 2010
"A US lawyer arrested in Rwanda for alleged genocide denial has retracted all statements which could have violated the country's anti-genocide laws, Rwanda's chief prosecutor and a legal source said on Wednesday. Chief prosecutor Martin Ngoga accuses Peter Erlinder, who is lead defence lawyer at the U.N.'s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, of genocide denial which he said threatened state security. Ngoga declined to give details of what Erlinder is accused of saying, other than that the statements were made outside Rwanda. However, the legal source said they concerned remarks made about President Paul Kagame, who has led Rwanda since the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people died. ... Ngoga would not say whether the retraction was enough for him to drop his case.
'It is premature to make a conclusion whether that was said with sense of remorse in it or just a statement made for the sake of it.' Erlinder has been taken to hospital twice since his arrest on May 28, complaining of high blood pressure and heart problems, Ngoga and sources close to the trial said. According to New York-based Human Rights Watch, those found guilty of genocide denial -- grossly minimising or attempting to justify the genocide -- are liable to 10-20 years in prison. The legal source said the prosecution had presented an essay it says was written by Erlinder in 2008 entitled 'The Great Rwanda Genocide Cover up.' [...]"

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