21.06.07 - CTR/RUKUNDO - ARREST IN KIGALI OF AN ICTR DEFENSE INVESTIGATOR

Arusha, 21 June 2007 (FH) - A Rwandan lawyer, member of the defense team of Father Emmanuel Rukundo, tried before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), was arrested last Saturday in Kigali, it was learned from a concordant sources in Arusha. 
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Léonidas Nshogoza, who is an investigator with this team headed by French lawyer Aicha Conde, would be accused of having pressured witness, according to an official statement transmitted by Rukundo to the Hirondelle agency. His arrest was confirmed at the ICTR.
 
This witness, called BLP in order to preserve his safety, was called by the prosecution 15 and 16 of last November but had been called again by defense so, states the official statement of Rukundo, to reconsider his statements. In addition to the Rwandan authorities, the Office of the Prosecutor, according to the official statement of Rukundo, accuses the lawyer of having pressured the witness so that he reconsidered his statements.
 
The statement of the accused recalls that Nshogoza was part of the defense team Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, recently convicted on appeal. In this case, several purgery charges have been issued. One of them resulted in the indictment of a Rwandan witness last week.
 
This arrest occurs as the Rukundo case, which began on 15 November 2006, must restart at the beginning of July with the presentation of the defense evidence.
 
Father Rukundo, military chaplain in Ruhengeri (northern Rwanda) then in Kigali, was arrested on 12 July 2001. He is accused of genocide and crimes against humanity and plea non guilty.
 
PB/MM

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