Archive for Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rwandan neighbor: Topeka man not at ethnic killings

May 3, 2011, 4:49 p.m. Updated May 3, 2011, 7:56 p.m.

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— A former neighbor of a man accused of participating in the 1994 Rwandan genocide has testified that the defendant was not at any ethnic killings that he witnessed.

Jean-Marie Byiringiro took the stand Tuesday in the trial of Lazare Kobagaya.

The 84-year-old Topeka man is in a federal courtroom in Kansas fighting charges of unlawfully obtaining U.S. citizenship in 2006 with fraud and misuse of an alien registration card. The government contends he lied to U.S. immigration authorities about his involvement in the genocide. Kobagaya contends he is innocent.

Byiringiro said he was present at practically all of the ethnic killings where in the area where he and Kobagaya lived during the genocide. Byiringiro served seven years in prison for his role in the genocide.

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