KIGALI - The embattled American Lawyer, Peter Erlinder, was rushed to hospital Tuesday claiming to be suffering from a heart ailment but doctors discovered it to be a hoax.
According to Police sources, Erlinder, who was arrested a few days ago on charges of denying the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, had told Police that he had a heart problem an had been fitted with an artificial valve.
“We rushed him to King Faisal Hospital after complaining of high blood pressure and heart problems this morning,” Police Spokesperson, Supt. Eric Kayiranga said.
A cardiologist was called in, but before he could carry out any tests, Erlinder confessed that he had lied, and that he instead had a history of depression going back 20 years.
The doctor did not buy Erlinder’s story and continued with a cardiograph and found Erlinder to be healthy. “
“The Doctor found that he was in good and stable shape and that there was no problem absolutely. He was returned to the Police Headquarters for further questioning,” revealed Kayiranga.
The Minnesota Public Radio, quoted Kurt Kerns, another American lawyer it claimed was in Rwanda to fight for Erlinder's release, explained the case as "ridiculously weak" and “pathetic” causing a source in the Office of the Prosecutor to take up the issue.
“Our laws on Genocide denial are explicit, it is not for others to decide whether Erlinder’s statements are an affront to the Rwandan people not. Kerns should keep his statements tainted with arrogance and superiority complex to himself’” our source who did not want to be identified said.
“Let them wait and prove their case in court”.
Kayiranga also said that the police has not denied anyone access to the American Lawyer as some reports abroad suggest, adding that even his lawyers are allowed to be around during interrogations.
“No access was denied to anyone as long as they went through the right procedures,” Kayiranga said.
According Vincent Karangwa, the head of Kigali Bar Association, three lawyers have so far been cleared to represent Erlinder in court, but no names could be obtained by press time.
“Today we cleared an American lawyer who presented his documents and he will join the other two Kenyan lawyers on Erlinder’s legal team. We had no problem with the Kenyan lawyers because our countries work together,” Karangwa said.
We could not confirm by press time whether Kurt Kerns, Erlinder’s colleague was the one cleared. Kerns is defending Lazarus Kobagaya, a Genocide suspect on trial in Wichita, Kansas.