Monday, June 07, 2010

Rwanda / United States

American Denied Bail in Rwanda Genocide Case
By Hereward Holland
Reuters dispatch, June 7, 2010
"A Rwandan court denied bail on Monday to a US lawyer arrested ten days ago on charges of genocide denial and threatening state security, despite pleas from his legal team that he be freed on health grounds. Peter Erlinder, the first foreigner accused under Rwanda's 2008 genocide ideology law, pleaded not guilty at a hearing last Friday and his four-lawyer team said they will appeal the bail ruling. He faces a minimum sentence of ten years prison. ... Erlinder came to Rwanda to defend outspoken opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire, head of the United Democratic Forces movement. She was arrested under accusations of genocide denial and belonging to a terrorist organization in April and released on bail.
Erlinder is a law professor in the United States and has acted as lead defense counsel for top genocide suspects at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania. In April he filed a lawsuit in the United States against President Paul Kagame on the behalf of the wives of the former leaders of Rwanda and Burundi, who died in a plane crash on April 1994 triggering a 100-day massacre in Rwanda. The lawsuit accused Kagame of ordering the shooting down of the plane carrying the two leaders. A Rwandan probe last year pinned the killing on the former Rwandan president's own troops. [...]"

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