US court decision to dismiss Kobagaya case a huge setback – Ngoga

Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, yesterday, described a decision by a US court to dismiss the case against Lazare Kobagaya, a genocide suspect, as a huge set back. Kobagaya case was being pursued by a court in Wichita, Kansas.   “If what we read in the press is the truth, that would be a huge setback in our efforts against fugitives, particularly in the USA,” Ngoga said.
 Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga

Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, yesterday, described a decision by a US court to dismiss the case against Lazare Kobagaya, a genocide suspect, as a huge set back.

Kobagaya case was being pursued by a court in Wichita, Kansas.

 “If what we read in the press is the truth, that would be a huge setback in our efforts against fugitives, particularly in the USA,” Ngoga said.

He, however, said that they are seeking an official version of what really happened and are yet to hear from their US counterparts.

While Kobagaya was being charged by the US court for lying to immigration officials, evidence pins him for taking part in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

His charges included unlawfully obtaining US citizenship in 2006 and misuse of an alien registration card. The cases were dropped this week.

In May, jurors found that he made a false statement on his visa application about his whereabouts in 1994.

However, on Thursday, prosecutors filed a motion seeking to set aside the verdict and dismiss all charges against Kobagaya.

Rwanda’s prosecution early this year had called upon the US to give more credence to the Genocide charges against him but the Americans focused more on immigration fraud.

Media reports indicate that prosecutors said they had failed to inform defence attorneys of an immigration official’s statement that Kobagaya’s presence in Rwanda in 1994 would not have barred him from entering the United States.

Judge Monti Belot of the Wichita court granted the motion to throw out the case against Kobagaya.

Kobagaya was in May this year pinned by a witness Valerie Niyitegeka, whose husband and three young children were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

She testified to have seen him participate in the killings in her village.

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