Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lawsuit alleges Rwandan President is guilty of Rwanda Genocide and racketeering in eastern Congo

On April 30, 2010, Rwandan President Paul Kagame delivered the commencement address at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma.   Demonstrators held up signs outside, and inside, a team of lawyers and process servers attempted to personally serve Kagame with an eight count lawsuit, until university officials asked them to leave.  

The lawsuit alleged that Kagame and nine of his current and former military officers and officials are guilty of the assassination of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira and subsequent acts that caused the 1994 massacres that came to be known as the Rwanda Genocide.  

They filed the suit on behalf of Agathe Habyarimana, widow of Juvenal Habyarimana, and Sylvana Ntaryamira, widow of Cyprien Ntaryamira

KPFA Radio News reported this story on 05.01.2010.  To listen, click "KPFA Radio News: Lawsuit alleges Rwandan President is guilty of Rwanda Genocide." 

The lawsuit's sixth count alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.   Specifically:

 "From not later than 1990 to the present, Kagame et. al, and his agents, and their co-conspirators formed a "RICO" enterprise within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. §:1961(4) engaged in foreign and interstate commerce." 

. . .  and

"Over a period of years and continuing to the present, through a pattern of racketeering activity, have acquired and maintained an interest in resources in the eastern Congo to their own benefit." 

Kagame avoided personal service, by leaving the commencement ceremony early, surrounded by bodyguards. However, as Law Professor Peter Erlinder explained to KPFA News, it is arguable that he intentionally avoided service.  An Oklahoma judge will decide. 

The eight counts in the complaint are:

1) Wrongful Death - Murder, 
2) Crimes against Humanity, 
3) Violation of the Rights of Life, Liberty, and Security of Person, 
4) Assault and Battery, 
5) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Stress, 
6) Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act,
7) Torture, and, 
8) Conspiracy to Torture

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