US convicts Genocide suspect

A Genocide suspect who is standing trial in the United States has been found guilty of having lied to US authorities while applying for an entry visa. Lazare Kobagaya, 84, has lived with his family in Wichita, Kansas since 1997. In 2006, he acquired U.S citizenship.
Kobagaya
Kobagaya

A Genocide suspect who is standing trial in the United States has been found guilty of having lied to US authorities while applying for an entry visa.

Lazare Kobagaya, 84, has lived with his family in Wichita, Kansas since 1997.

In 2006, he acquired U.S citizenship.

U.S. prosecutors accuse Kobagaya of covering up his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Despite the US courts handling the case for a while, there has not been a clear partnership with the Rwanda prosecution.

According to the Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga, the US judiciary is yet to contact the Rwandan authorities about the Kabagaya case.

“We have picked pieces in the press and we are not sure we have the right picture until we hear from our counterparts in the US,” said Ngoga.

 “In any event, the fact that he was found to have lied to the authorities in the US while gaining residence and citizenship, is a step forward. We shall have a more comprehensive response when we hear from them directly”.

According to press reports from the US, court documents and information presented at the trial, the jury found that Kobagaya lied during his immigration process about where he resided from 1993 to 1995. 

He stated that he lived in Burundi rather than Rwanda during the said period. 

During trial, the prosecution argued that the lie was material because it prevented the government (US) from examining Kobagaya’s activities during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Although a sentencing date has not yet been scheduled, Kobagaya faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The charge also carries a potential fine of up to US$250,000. A sentencing date has not been set.

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