However, the case against Lazare Kobagaya was dropped yesterday:
"After 2-1/2 years and more than $1 million, federal prosecutors with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., filed to dismiss the charges this afternoon. Within a couple of hours, U.S. District Judge Monti Belot in Wichita granted that request in what authorities said was the first case involving genocide to be tried on American soil."Kobagaya's son stated in a first reaction:
"My father is the first one ever to beat the lies of President Kagame," Kandy said. "I will never understand how such a small country in Africa could have such influence on a country like the United States."Prosecutors at the federal level withheld essential information that would have ended this case much earlier:
"prosecutors revealed that investigators had interviewed the woman who processed Kobagaya's visa in September 2008. She told them the change of date would have not influenced her decision to approve his application."Attorney Melanie Morgan (of Olathe) :
“Had this information been timely disclosed so that it could have been presented to the jury, we have no doubt the jury would have acquitted Mr. Kobagaya on both counts”.Attorney Kurt Kerns said he had not seen such a mistake in his 20 years of practicing law, and pointed out that no one with the offices of the U.S. Attorney in Kansas played a role in making the error:
"This is something you read about happening every couple of decades in the legal community, but I've never seen it,"In a filing last week, the government (Obama administration) first revealed to the court:
"that it inadvertently failed to disclose earlier to the defense information from a consular officer in Kenya who was listed on Kobagaya’s immigration application. The consular officer had told prosecutors that even if she had known Kobagaya was in Rwanda in 1994, it would not have caused her to inquire further into his application because Kobagaya was a Burundian national."A key argument in the defense case was that the alleged falsehood about Kobagaya’s whereabouts during the genocide was not a “material fact” that would have caused further investigation by immigration authorities that could have possibly kept him out of the United States, as defense Kurt Kerns pointed out in a phone iterview.
It seems that the jury system is actually quite good and that some people at the State Department intentionally screwd up big time.
State Department's War Crimes chief Stephen Rapp has allready a lot of explaining to do for his visit to Kigali a month before the start of the trial and his statement there as I wrote earlier:
"We are pursuing (as very high priority) human rights violators accused of the Genocide, who managed to enter the US and managed to get their refugee status and citizenship,” said Rapp, a former Prosecutor at the Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).A clear attempt by this individual to influence the outcome of the Lazare Kobagaya case. We now know that witness tampering occured in the Lazare Kobagaya case. When will Stephen Rapp come out publicly with a statement on the outcome of the Lazare Kobagay case?
“It is a very high priority in the Department Of Justice to prosecute these people, for the false claims they made, and the lies they put on their forms, that they were not involved in the Genocide,”
The American people deserve answers why more then a million dollars was spent using false testimonies from a country ruled by a genocide suspect that has been accused of multiple assasination attempts both in Africa and Europe?
The outcome of the case was supposed to set the stage for Paul Kagame's visit to Paul Rusesabagina's Chicago. Too bad for Pierre Prosper and Stephen Rapp the jury didn't go along with that.