US prosecutors seek 20-year prison sentence for a Rwanda national

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Prosecutors are seeking a 20-year sentence Monday for a Rwandan, Jean Leonard Teganya convicted of immigration fraud for lying on his U.S. asylum application about his role in the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

Jean Leonard Teganya will be sentenced at 2 p.m. Monday before Judge Dennis Saylor in U.S. District Court in Boston. He was found guilty by a federal jury on counts of immigration fraud and perjury in April in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Prosecutors said Teganya failed to mention in his application his participation in the MRND, the Rwandan political party behind the genocide, and additionally claimed he had never harmed anyone.

The government is seeking a 20-year prison sentence for Teganya, who participated in at least seven murders and five rapes during the 1994 genocide, they say in their sentencing memorandum.

“Lies about genocide and human rights deserve the maximum punishment,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Garland wrote.

Teganya, a medical student at Butare University Hospital during the genocide, allegedly participated in the persecution of Tutsi by assisting in their capture and forcible removal from the hospital. The memo details his specific alleged actions during the genocide, including striking victims in the head with an ax and terrorizing Tutsi victims with a group one victim called “Teganya’s Army.”

The government would be seeking a term of life in prison if he were on trial for his crimes during the genocide, the memo reads.

After the genocide, Teganya allegedly left Rwanda in mid-July 1994 and fled to the Congo, India and eventually Canada in 1999 where he was locked in litigation for 15 years regarding his asylum application before he was ordered removed from the country. Teganya went into hiding for two years, and Canada put him on a list of its most-wanted fugitives before he was apprehended crossing into Maine by U.S. Border Patrol, according to prosecutors.

Teganya, in his sentencing memo by his attorney, Scott Lauer, is asking for a sentence of 63 months, noting he will “undoubtedly” be sent back to Rwanda where he may face further prosecution including a sentence of 20 years or more. He’s also asking to be incarcerated at FCI-Berlin in New Hampshire, where he could be visited by his wife and two sons, all Canadian citizens living in Quebec.

Teganya was caught in Maine crossing into the U.S. from Canada, when he filed his asylum claim in September 2014.

Source: Boston Herald

 

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