BRIEF: Attempt to Halt Rwandan Trials

NAIROBI, Kenya – The lawyers for Rwanda’s leader Paul Kagame are demanding the suspension of the trial and investigation against Kagame. President Kagame and his Tutsi rebels are credited with halting the 1994 genocide that killed some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus within 100 days.

Judges in France and Spain has called for the prosecution of Kagame and 40 of his associates for the killing of thousands of civilians including nine Spaniards. In November 2006, a Paris anti-terrorist judge issued a summons for Kagame to stand trial for the murder of his predecessor, Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death instigated the genocide. Kagame has denied the claims.

France and Spain could not prosecute Kagame since he has immunity as a head of state. Peter Erlinder, head of the Defense Lawyer’s Association, requests an independent investigation by the U.N. Security Council of manipulation of the prosecutor’s office. Defense lawyers claim the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) should cease investigations because it is biased.

For more information please see:

Yahoo News (Reuters) – Lawyers Try to Halt Rwanda Genocide Tribunal – 27 February 2008

Author: Impunity Watch Archive