Prosecution slams EALS over Erlinder

KIGALI - Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga has criticized the East African Law Society’s (EALS) position on American lawyer, Peter Erlinder, who is currently detained in Rwanda on charges of Genocide denial.
CRITICIZED; Martin Ngoga (File photo)
CRITICIZED; Martin Ngoga (File photo)

KIGALI - Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga has criticized the East African Law Society’s (EALS) position on American lawyer, Peter Erlinder, who is currently detained in Rwanda on charges of Genocide denial.

The society issued a statement recently condemning Erlinder’s arrest, saying that the act may compromise ‘the otherwise good international human rights record that Rwanda currently enjoys.’

“I think I have to admit that I am really dismayed at the way professionals can be trapped into solidarity simply because they share a profession with the suspect, and not because they have understanding of the substance of the case,” said Ngoga when contacted for a comment.

The EALS statement that was signed by the Dr Allan Shonubi, its president, calls upon the government to entitle full benefits of a speedy fair trial and due process.

“Justice is not ignorant of what it needs to observe in order to keep compliance with the country’s laws and international conventions to which Rwanda is signatory,” Ngoga said, adding that profession solidarity is necessary, but that it has to be backed by facts.

Erlinder who was arrested late last month, yesterday appeared before Justice Johnston Busingye at the High Court to appeal a decision by Gasabo Intermediate Court to remand him for 30 days pending further investigations by the prosecution.

The ruling on this appeal will be passed on Thursday.

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