Archive for Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jury selected for Kansas man accused of participating in Rwandan genocide

April 27, 2011

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— A jury has been seated in the trial of a Kansas man who is accused of participating in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Opening arguments are planned for Thursday morning after 12 jurors and four alternates were seated Wednesday.

The immigration trial involves 84-year-old Topeka resident Lazare Kobagaya and is expected to last up to 10 weeks.

The case hinges on whether Kobagaya committed atrocities in Rwanda and lied when he told U.S. immigration authorities that he had never committed a crime. The U.S. Justice Department says it's the first criminal prosecution in the U.S. requiring proof of genocide.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot told would-be jurors on Tuesday that the trial "wasn't going to be pleasant."

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