Monday, June 21, 2010

Rwanda frees US lawyer 'on health grounds': attorney

A Rwandan court Thursday freed on health grounds Peter Erlinder, a US lawyer detained on charges of denying the 1994 Tutsi genocide, one of his attorneys said.

"Professor Peter Erlinder has just been freed on health grounds. We produced reports and medical certificates proving that he is really ill," Jean-Bosco Kazungu, one of Erlinder's four-man legal team told AFP.

"The only condition that the court set was that he should leave an address in Rwanda where the prosecution can reach him if they need him," Kazungu said.

"He will be able to return to the US tomorrow (Friday) once he has left that address."

Erlinder, who is defending a suspected genocide mastermind at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), was arrested on May 28, after travelling to Rwanda on a different assignment to defend opposition figure Victoire Ingabire, also accused of denying the genocide.

The ICTR in Arusha had on Wednesday urged Kigali to immediately release Erlinder.

Rwanda's attorney general Martin Ngoga had said Rwanda was prosecuting Erlinder, who is a professor at William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul, Minnesota, for "denying the genocide, in what he writes and what he says".

Known for his hostility to the current Rwandan government, Erlinder frequently accuses the ICTR prosecution of covering up crimes committed in 1994 by the Rwandan Patriotic Front of President Paul Kagame.

In April, Erlinder, with another US attorney Kurt P. Kerns, filed a civil lawsuit against Kagame alleging the Rwandan president was responsible for triggering the genocide in which 800,000 people died, mainly Tutsis.

Source: Google News

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad Rwanda stands up for what is right but I don't think your opinion is considered justice.
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