American Lawyer, Kagame Nemesis, Freed In Rwanda

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The U.S. wrongful death lawsuit says Kagame and his senior officers ordered the assassination of Rwanda's president in 1994, sparking the genocide the two presidents.

[Global: Africa]

Following international pressure, Peter Erlinder, the American law professor arrested in Rwanda after he travelled there to defend Ms. Victoire Ingabire an opposition presidential aspirant, has been released The Black Star News has learned.

Sarah Erlinder announced her father's unconditional release on medical grounds with the following note: "Unconditional release on bail, can return to the US!!! It's not over, and we won't believe it until he's home, but today is a very good day for all of us!!"

Erlinder, who has also defended Rwandans accused of participation in the 1994 genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, earned the enmity of the Rwanda government especially after he filed a lawsuit in the United States against President Paul Kagame.

In the U.S. action, a wrongful death lawsuit --on behalf of Agathe Habyarimana and Sylvana Ntaryamira, the widows of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira-- says Kagame and his senior officers ordered the assassination of the two presidents.

The killings, when a presidential plane they were on was shot down with a missile, sparked the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. Erlinder had travelled recently to Rwanda to represent Ingabire, who is under house arrest. She has been blocked from registering and campaigning for the August presidential vote there.

Erlinder had been hospitalized with high blood pressure related ailments.

The Kagame regime accuses him of "genocide denial." Erlinder has argued in the past that he disagrees with the popular narrative of responsibility for the 1994 killings--he places the blame on Kagame for allegedly downing the presidential jet.


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