Opening statements in the trial of a U.S. citizen accused of lying about her role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide will be heard Thursday.
Federal prosecutors allege Manchester resident Beatrice Munyenyezi falsified documents to gain entry into the United States.
The federal government claims Munyenyezi participated and ordered “kidnapping, rape and murder” during the genocide that killed 800,000 people.
U.S. prosecutors say the witnesses they’ve flown in from Rwanda have a compelling story to tell.
But defense attorney David Ruoff says his client is a political target.
He says statements she’s made challenge the Rwandan government’s belief that Hutus committed genocide against the minority Tutsis.
DAVID RUOFF: “That’s a threat to their government. That’s a threat to their power. And there is well documented instances where they take steps to take out people that threaten that dominant narrative. And that’s where we are today.”
The trial is expected to take 3-6 weeks.