Attempted suicide not a criminal offence -Prosecutor
KIGALI - Kurt Kerns, one of the attorneys on embattled American lawyer Peter Erlinder’s legal team, yesterday apologised for his derogatory comments he made directed towards the Rwandan Police.
Erlinder was arrested last week on charges of Genocide Denial and is expected to be produced in court soon.
In an email he sent and was reproduced in US media outlets, Kerns referred to the country’s police officers as ‘punks’.
An apologetic Kerns yesterday told the media that he would have certainly chosen a better term and regretted any inconvenience his “stupid American comments” would have caused, and promised it would never happen again.
“The other day I read the statements of the Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga, and I just wanted to offer my sincerest and deepest heartfelt apologies, for any kind of words that used that Rwandan people would find offensive,” Kerns said.
He added that he was not trying to justify the use of the word and agrees he would have chosen another word, adding that he is ready to put that behind him and continue working on the case with authorities.
“The Prosecutors have been very professional...I want to offer my heartfelt apologies and I can assure you it won’t happen again,” Kerns added.
Kerns said that his client is steadily recovering and they are hopeful to get the process going. Erlinder tried to end his life on Wednesday by mixing 50 tablets in water and drinking the concoction but the police intervened in time to save him.
“Today we met the Prosecutors and we had a very favourable and professional discussion and I hope we can work together in the interest of justice, to find justice,” Kerns said.
After vehemently rejecting the suicide reports describing them as a total setup, the family of Erlinder has finally admitted that it was indeed true that he attempted to end his life after American consular officials in Rwanda briefed them.
According to Minnesota’s Star Tribune, the family quoted Erlinder as telling a consular official, “I couldn’t spend another night in jail.”
Erlinder’s wife, Masako Usui, also disclosed that he has been on anti-depressants for most of his adult life, but she didn’t think it was a factor in his decision to take an overdose.