"I was a lawyer at the ICTR where my client Protais Zigiranyirazo was acquitted. I got to know Peter Erlinder quite well.
Unfortunately many of the above comments are misconceived. I do not think Peter has ever denied that there were mass killings of Tutsi that can be encompassed by the legal defition of genocide. He makes two broader points, which are shared I may say, by almost all of the defence lawyers who have practiced before the ICTR:
1. There were mass killings of Hutus as well, by the Tutsi RPF. These equally constitute genocide but have been overlooked by the ICTR which has never prosecuted a single Tutsi. The ICTR often trumpets the "end of impunity" but in fact has institutionalized impunity with respect to RPR crimes.
2. There has never been proven a broad conspiract by the Hutu led government or military to commit genocide. The prosecution has never established this. The accused in the miltary trial, which Peter defended, were acquitted on this allegation. So was my client Mr Zigiranyirazo.
This is not to say that a genocide of Tutsi did not ocurr, only that it was not a genocide coordinated and planned by the government or the miltary.
Peter is being prosecuted in Rwanda for having said these things in court in the defence of his client. The judges who accepted his arguments could equally be subject to Rwandan "justice" for having agreed with him."
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Peter Zaduk On Peter Erlinder
Peter Zaduk says :