Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rwanda: US court decision to dismiss Kobagaya case a huge setback – Ngoga

As Kurt Kerns, Lazare Kobagaya's lawyer, said in an interview with Ann Garrison yesterday, the implications of this case are huge:

"Well, I think maybe before you spend a couple of million dollars trying to prosecute someone, you really need to do a factual investigation. If the allegations are coming out of a country that has so many lies being perpetrated out of it, like Rwanda, you really need to do an independent investigation to see if you're really getting a true and accurate investigation or if you're really just getting a politically motivated accusation. So often now, at least right now in Rwanda, so many of the accusations coming out of that country are sadly, politically based. "

The Rwandan government did not respond for comment today when asked by AP journalists about the outcome of the Lazare Kobagaya case :
"Kagame’s government did not respond to an email seeking comment."
However, the new times allready has the reaction by Martin Ngoga. The article in the new times states:
"US court decision to dismiss Kobagaya case a huge setback. If what we read in the press is the truth, that would be a huge setback in our efforts against fugitives, particularly in the USA,”
"we are seeking an official version of what really happened and are yet to hear from their US counterparts."
another interesting part of the new times article is this sentence:
"Rwanda’s prosecution early this year had called upon the US to give more credence to the Genocide charges against him but the Americans focused more on immigration fraud."
This statement refers to Stephen Rapp's visit to Rwanda earlier this year.
As I wrote earlier:
"Stephen Rapp has allready commented on the ongoing Kobagaya case. This runs against a justice department-wide policy of not commenting on ongoing cases."
As Kandy Kobagaya said in the Washington Post
"This begs a question of how such a tiny country of Rwanda can have so much influence to such as large country as the United States ... that the U.S. government can drag an innocent man through that kind of mud,” Kandy said in a phone interview from Florida."
Was Stephen Rapp aware of the witness tampering that occurred in this case?

Danielle Beach-Oswald writes about the case on her lawblog  which was reposted here:
"Given that the Justice Department spent $1 million on this case, with even one juror claiming that it was a waste of money, it shows the necessity for better transparency between government officials and private attorneys in all issues regarding immigration. This has not only led to unnecessary embarrassment for the government, but has shown that attorneys working on important immigration matters should have more comprehensive access to important government records that may not be available from a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Request"
A little unrelated but nevertheless interesting blogpost, found on same site, reads:
"Will there be enough time for Barack Obama to overcome the terrible damage that he has inflicted on himself by three years of cynical pandering to anti-immigrant bigotry to try to gain a very small number of additional white votes? "
Link to the story on the legal times blog. 

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