Contrary to claims by Lynn Tuohy, Lazare Kobagaya's trial did not end in a "hung jury" and did not "locked on whether he played a role in the genocide". (Lynn Tuohy wrote the AP press release that messed up the facts concerning the outcome of the landmark ruling in the Lazare Kobagaya trial) . Lazare Kobagaya was acquitted of having played any role in the genocide whatsoever.
Ann Garrison, journalist in San Francisco, asked Kobagaya's lawyer Kurt Kerns august 27 2011 "What do you think the international implications of this case are?", his answer was:
"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."Dan Gorenstein was in court the first day of the Munyenyezi trial in Concord New Hampshire february 23 2012 and confirms that this case is "about lies, both sides are accusing the other of lying". According to Concord Monitor's staffer Maddie Hanna, Munyenyezi's attorneys stated february 23, the first day of trial:
"Munyenyezi, who is charged with lying on immigration papers about the role she played in the 1994 genocide, took no part in the violence. Witnesses who claim otherwise are lying - either for self-gain or because of pressure exerted by the Rwandan government. They come from a culture where the government . . . has used the genocide as a tool of oppression,"Today's blogpost on the Munyenyezi trial by Sarah E. Brown, a researcher of women genocide perpetrators in Rwanda and Congo is a good illustration of the proverb:
"to a carpenter everything in the world looks like a nail"On twitter yesterday she allready claimed the defense avoided the word "genocide" in it's opening remarks:
Shameful -An easily verifiable falsehood. The defense used the word genocide several times in it's opening remarks, as I have demonstrated above. Her attempt to twist the facts continues today claiming:
#Munyenyezi defense team avoids the word #Genocide. In opening remarks, used words like "situation" "war" and "RPF invasion"...
"Munyenyezi’s wayward defense strategy mistakenly hinges on her gender and her status as a mother to prove her innocence."This again is incorrect. The case, as Dan Gorenstein and Maddie Hanna have reported (see above), hinges on the credibility of the witnesses. In light of what we learned from the Kobagaya case extreme caution is warranted.
But I would add one other element: motive. As pointed out at the top, the Lazare Kobagaya case was used in the crucial fase of Paul Kagame's RPF PR effort the day he arrived at the Tribeca festival in New York. Paul Kagame's PR directed at a US audience was an essential element in his election campaign strategy.
Beatrice Munyenyezi was arrested june 25 2010, a week after the assassination attempt in South Africa on General Kayumba Nyamwasa's life and one day after the assassination of Rwandan journalist Jean-Léonard Rugambage in Kigali. In light of what we now know (through the Kobagaya case) the significance of the timing of Munyenyezi's arrest june 25 2010 should not be overlooked.