Immigration Fraud: US Imprisons Rwandan Linked To 1994 Genocide

 

A US federal judge in Boston sentenced a Rwandan man to more than eight years in prison on Monday for lying about his involvement in the East African country’s 1994 genocide.

Jean Leonard Teganya, 47, was convicted in April of two counts of immigration fraud and three counts of perjury, a statement from the US Department of Justice said.

Teganya “was convicted and sentenced for the most serious form of immigration fraud: lying about his status as a war criminal to win asylum in the United States,” said US Attorney Andrew Lelling.

Based on the evidence presented at the trial, Teganya “committed horrendous crimes during the Rwandan genocide and then sought to deceive US immigration authorities about his past,” Lelling said.

The Rwandan genocide began in April 1994, and for around 100 days some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis were murdered.

At the time Teganya was a medical student at the National University of Rwanda and a member of the Hutu-dominated ruling MRND party that incited the genocide.

When the slaughter began, Teganya “led teams of soldiers” and pro-government youth around the hospital “to locate Tutsi patients and refugees hiding.”

Once discovered, the Tutsis “were taken and killed behind the maternity ward,” the US statement read.

Teganya participated in the murders of seven Tutsis as well as the rape of two Tutsi women, the statement said.

In mid-July 1994, Teganya fled Rwanda and crossed Africa to India, eventually traveling to Canada where he applied for asylum in 1999.

“Canadian authorities twice determined that Teganya was not entitled to asylum because he had been complicit in atrocities,” the statement read.

Teganya slipped out of Canada in 2014 ahead of a deportation order and into the United States, where he applied for asylum — and did not mention his MRND membership or his activities during the genocide.

Teganya will be deported once he completes his 97-month prison sentence, US officials said.

France Drops Charges Against Rwandan Officials

 

Investigative magistrates in France have dropped charges against nine Rwandan officials investigated over the death of the country’s president in 1998, an event that led to a genocide that killed more than 800,000 people, a judicial source said.

France launched the investigation, that also targeted Rwanda’s former Defence Minister James Kabarebe, in 1998 following demands by relatives of the French crew who died when president Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was downed.

The investigation and accusations by Rwandan officials that France was complicit in the 1994 genocide damaged relations between the two countries for several years.]

The judicial source said on Wednesday that the charges were dropped on Dec. 21. A French prosecutor had recommended in October that the charges should be dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

Rwanda said on Dec. 24 that it welcomed the definitive end of what it called a politically-motivated investigation.

Rwandan ex-minister jailed for life over genocide

The U.N. war crimes tribunal for Rwanda sentenced former minister Callixte Nzabonimana to life in prison on Thursday after he was found guilty of playing a key role in his country’s 1994 genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), based in Arusha in Tanzania, convicted the former Rwandan Minister of Youth and Associate Movements for genocide, conspiracy, incitement and extermination as a crime against humanity.

“The trial chamber found that … Nzabonimana instigated the killing of Tutsis. It also found Nzabonimana guilty of entering into two separate agreements to kill Tutsis,” ICTR said in a statement.

The former Rwandan politician, 59, was arrested in Tanzania in February 2008.

Ethnic Hutu militia and soldiers butchered 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus in the tiny east African country in just 100 days between April and June 1994.

REUTERS