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Under Pressure from US, Rwandan Government Releases Lawyer

Today, June 17, 2010, facing the overwhelming international condemnation, including a harsh rebuke from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and isolated, the Rwandan Government gave up and released an American lawyer. After three weeks, the lawyer, Professor Peter Erlinder was released on “bail” on medical grounds. However, it appears that is the way for the Rwanda Government to save face.

Rwandan Superior Court Judge Johnson Busingye explained the conditions of the release during the hearing: “It is ordered that professor Carl Peter Erlinder be hereby unconditionally released from detention on health grounds as explained above. It is ordered further that investigations into his case will proceed while he is not in detention

The Rwandan Prosecutor, Martin Ngoga,  visibly humbled but wearing a mask of defiance said in a statement:  “Bail on health grounds cannot be mistaken as vindication for Mr. Erlinder, This will not deter the prosecution as we finalize the case against Mr. Erlinder. He will soon be called to defend his record of genocide denial that insults the people of Rwanda and inflames those who seek to harm us.”

The pressure on the Rwandan Government to release the lawyer had become too much to bear.

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