Family of Genocide Suspect Says He is Innocent

By: AP
By: AP

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ The family of an 82-year-old immigrant suspected of participating in Rwanda's 1994 genocide say he was too old and sick to commit such atrocities.

Topeka resident Lazare Kobagaya (luh-ZAR coh-buh-GEYE-uh) made his first appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in Wichita. He faces is charged with unlawfully obtaining U.S. citizenship in 2006 and fraud. The indictment seeks to revoke his U.S. citizenship.

Prosecutors contend Kobagaya lied during naturalization proceedings and concealed that he had lived in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. The government alleges he helped in the slaughter of hundreds of Tutsis.

A son of Kobagaya, Dr. Andre Kandy, said Friday that his father was in Rwanda as a Burundi refugee. But Kandy says his father speaks little English and probably misunderstood the question during the naturalization proceedings.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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