Friday 16 April 2021
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newtimes - 2 month ago

Rwandan judiciary cannot be intimidated

Following Rusesabagina’s voluntary and un-expected arrival in Kigali, friends and supporters — and yes, his accomplices — have spent un-due time vilifying the Rwanda government for arresting this avowed terrorist turned hero. Let’s get one thing clear and out of the way: Rwanda is an independent sovereign state that does not take orders from elsewhere. Second, Rwanda’s judiciary is independent of the Executive Branch and has received accolades for its performance as evidenced by Canada, the U.S. and other members of the EU extraditing wanted fugitives back to Kigali to face justice. Rwanda does not have a death penalty, unlike many other countries on the continent and elsewhere. Arguing that Rusesabagina will not receive a fair trial is silly, laughable and simply dismissable. Some foreign lawyers have complained that they have been denied access to see Rusesabagina or represent him. The Rwanda Bar, and specifically the Kigali Bar have rules and regulations which call for reciprocity. A foreign lawyer cannot simply arrive in Kigali and demand special treatment. Even entering Akagera Park has conditions. This sense of “white privilege” does not work well in Rwanda. A few American politicians, academicians and Hollywood stars have been singing in concert calling for Rusesabagina’s release — making a mockery of justice and disregarding the serious terrorist activities he is charged with, and has personally and openly, admitted to. This man — a genocide denier and negationist — is charged along with 20 other alleged terrorists. What makes him special that folks are tripping over themselves calling for his immediate release? Others argue that his medical condition is so poor he should not be in prison. Well, why did he not consider that before he embarked on his alleged Bin Laden-like escapades? Others are calling for Rusesabagina’s release arguing that because of the on-going pandemic he should be released on mercy grounds and given a chance to see his doctors for his many medical conditions. Baloney. I have had my eye surgery postponed three times since last March due to COVID-19 protocols, and I am not charged with any terrorist crimes. Rusesabagina’s is an open and shut case, and his defenses would convict him before a jury of priests. Bear with me, and let’s examine them together. He claims and argues (with a straight face) that he is NOT Rwandan. Well, he was not arrested but for committing terrorist activities on Rwandan soil which culminated in the death of nine Rwandans. Whether you are from Mars or Belgium and you are on Rwandan soil you do not have immunity to the crimes you have committed. His lead attorney should be charged with advancing such a childish defense, and for letting Rusesabagina argue his own case because every time he speaks in open court he indicts himself. Rusesasabagina’s defenders argue that because he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 he should be treated with kid gloves. Guess what? In 2002, TV icon Bill Cosby (net worth $400 million) received a similar medal but he was arrested, tried, and convicted for sexual assault and is now behind bars serving a 3 – 10 year sentence, at age 82. Bill Cosby. The other comical argument Rusesabagina makes, and his defenders repeat, mostly Americans, is that since he is a Belgian citizen (who never renounced his Rwandan citizenship) he should not have been arrested, later on tried in Rwanda. America does this all the time. Here are a few ex Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed from Eritrea was forcefully taken out of Afghanistan, tried and convicted in America. Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen and one of the 9/11 Al Qaeda terrorists was captured off American soil and brought State side, tried and is imprisoned in America. Al-Moussaoui, a Lebanese was abducted in Egypt and brought to America where he is serving a long sentence. Zacarias Moussaoui. All these cases pale compared to Rusesabagina arriving in Rwanda voluntarily, being arrested and tried for terrorist activities he is alleged to have perpetrated or ordered to be committed on Rwandan soil. American politicians and officials who have the balls to speak on behalf of Rusesabagina really need to shut the hell up. What have they said about over 900,000 or so young black men in American prisons charged with non-violent crimes? (America has 5% of the world population but 25% of the world s prison population.) What have these do-gooders said about 43 Arab alleged terrorists who are languishing at Guantanamo, Cuba — never charged with any crime or had their day in court? Rusesabagina will have a fair trial, this much I know. If he is not found guilty he must walk as a free man. If he is convicted, I hope he rots in hell.


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