Kansas man accused in Rwandan genocide faces trial
An 84-year-old immigrant accused of participating in the 1994 Rwandan genocide is headed to trial in Kansas in an immigration case that the Justice Department says is the first of its kind in the U.S.
The case - which hinges on whether Lazare Kobagaya committed atrocities in Rwanda and therefore lied when he told U.S. immigration authorities that he had never committed a crime - is the first criminal prosecution in the United States requiring proof of genocide, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Jury selection was scheduled to start Tuesday morning, and more than 50 foreign witnesses from five countries have been brought in to testify under tight security.
Kobagaya is charged with unlawfully obtaining U.S. citizenship in 2006 and with fraud and misuse of an alien registration card. Kobagaya denies committing acts of genocide, and defense attorneys say they plan to call more than 20 witnesses from around the world, along with family members, to testify on his behalf.