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 Editions Sources du Nil  : Livres sur le Rwanda, Burundi, RDCongo

Le cas Nkunda bientôt à la Cour Suprême du Rwanda

2 Décembre 2009 , Rédigé par Editions Sources du Nil Publié dans #Justice et Droits de l'homme

Posted Tuesday, December 1 2009 at 13:02 KIGALI, Rwanda The ongoing case of Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda will come before Rwanda’s Supreme Court, Mr Nkunda’s lawyer said Tuesday. After a series of requests at civilian and military courts at lower levels, lawyer Stephane Bourgon has said he has been forced to go to Rwanda’s Supreme Court in pursuit of Mr Nkunda’s release from Rwandan authorities. “My client has the right to know why he has been arrested, why he is detained and how long this illegal imprisonment will last, considering that there is still no valid arrest warrant and that no charges have been laid against him,” said Mr Bourgon in a press statement released today. Mr Nkunda, the Tutsi general who was arrested by Rwanda in early January, has been reportedly held in Rwandan custody since January 22nd of this year; for over 10 months. Mr Bourgon, a Canadian-born lawyer who in the past has represented Yugoslav war criminals, has tried repeatedly to free Mr Nkunda through Rwanda’s legal system. According to him, he has still not been able to meet with his client. “In a state said to be governed by the rule of law, this is simply unacceptable.” The Rwandan government has said in the past that Mr Nkunda has been allowed to meet with his family. Research experts linked to the United Nations in eastern Congo have also said that Nkunda has been in contact with some of his former soldiers now supposedly integrated into the Congolese army. Many say he still holds influence. But according to Mr Bourgon, and the Nkunda family who has filed for his release to the courts, the Rwandan government has bent backwards to extra-legally detain his client and has repeatedly betrayed its own constitution. “The Supreme Court, the highest judicial body of the Republic will therefore have to rule not only on the illegality of Laurent Nkunda’s detention but also on the violation of his fundamental rights protected by the Constitution of Rwanda,” the press statement reads. The ongoing legal saga highlights the complications Rwanda’s new membership to the British Commonwealth poses to the post-colonial group. The country joined the Commonwealth last weekend, becoming its 54th member, but had to overcome a barrage of criticism over its human-rights policy, including its judiciary. Mr Nkunda was arrested in the beginning of the year after Rwanda and the Congo came to an agreement over violence in eastern Congo that was seen to be swiftly spiralling out of control. “Hopefully, the admission of Rwanda as a member of the Commonwealth will have a positive effect on the situation of Laurent Nkunda,” said Mr Bourgon, “and the Supreme Court will dare assuming its responsibilities and rule on the illegality of his detention.”

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