You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 6, 2015

Rwandan Native Indicted On Charges Of Making False Statements And Lying To Government Agents

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury in Buffalo has returned a two-count indictment charging Peter Kalimu, 48, of Buffalo, NY, with making false statements both in his application for naturalization as a United States Citizen and to Special Agents of the Department of Homeland Security. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Kalimu also faces automatic revocation of his U.S. citizenship if convicted of making a false statement on his application for naturalization.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, the defendant, a native of Rwanda, concealed the fact that he previously used the name “Fidele Twizere.” An individual named “Fidele Twizere” has been identified as an alleged member of the majority Hutu tribe who participated in the genocidal atrocities perpetrated against the minority Tutsis. This followed the April 6, 1994 assassination of Juvenal Habyarimana, the president of Rwanda at the time.

The indictment states that Kalimu answered “none” to the question on his naturalization petition that asked “If you have even been known by any other names, provide them below.” In November 2014, the defendant provided a letter to Homeland Security agents claiming that he had never used another name (other than Peter Kalimu) and that he did not use any other name (other than Peter Kalimu) in Rwanda. These statements prevented the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for determining if foreign nationals are qualified to become U.S. citizens, from fully investigating the defendant’s background to determine if he was the “Fidele Twizere” that was allegedly involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The defendant will be arraigned on August 12, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr.

The Indictment is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Kennedy.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated August 6, 2015