|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
NBC News, which teamed up with local police officers to trap sex offenders for its successful but scandalous “To Catch a Predator” series, is now using similar tactics to hunt bigger game: war criminals.
But one of the first efforts, an investigation of a Maryland college professor on genocide charges, is already attracting criticism from federal officials months before the program would be broadcast.
For more than a year, NBC has been investigating the possible perpetrators of human rights abuses in several countries, but the case of Leopold Munyakazi, a visiting professor of French at Goucher College in Towson, Md., is the only one that has become public.
In December, an NBC crew and a Rwandan prosecutor confronted Mr. Munyakazi with charges that he had participated in that country’s genocide in 1994.
Reached by telephone on Tuesday evening, Mr. Munyakazi vigorously denied the allegations.
“I have never participated in genocide. I saved a number of people,” said Mr. Munyakazi.
The Department of Homeland Security said it had significant concerns “that a program of this kind could negatively impact law enforcement’s ability to investigate and bring cases against the perpetrators of these horrible crimes.” The Justice Department had no comment about the professor’s case.
Mr. Munyakazi is one of at least four subjects that NBC News producers focused on in apparent cooperation with the Rwandan government. Some human rights advocates are objecting to NBC’s investigation, alleging that the evidence of war crimes is insufficient and the collaboration with a foreign government prosecutor is suspect ethically.