American Attorney Arrested in Rwanda

Peter Erlinder, 62, a Minnesota law professor with a record of taking unsavory and unpopular defense clients, has been arrested and charged with genocide denial in Rwanda, a week after Erlinder traveled to the tiny African nation to help the man running against President Paul Kagame. Erlinder is part of a legal defense team for Victoire Ingabire, a Hutu opposition leader who is also on trial for the promotion of genocidal ideology. Erlinder, a law professor at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, has worked with unpopular clients before, including terrorism suspect Mohammed Abdullah Warsame. Erlinder filed a lawsuit in April alleging Kagame had ordered in 1994 the death of the Rwandan president, which set off the genocide and, Erlinder argues, led the way for Kagame’s rebel forces to seize power. If convicted, Erlinder faces up to 25 years in prison.