Friend believes CR man is wrongly accused of genocide - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Friend believes CR man is wrongly accused of genocide

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

A man convicted of lying to federal agents to get into the United States as a refugee will be sentenced on Thursday. 

Gervais Ngombwa who goes by Ken is also accused of participating in the Rwandan genocide where more than 800,000 people were killed based on their ethnic group. 

Ngombwa has also been accused of intentionally setting his Cedar Rapids house on fire to claim insurance. 

Friends and fellow church members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids are coming to Ngombwa's defense, telling us he is a good man. 

"They've been a hard working family, very dedicated, go to church every week," says Bill Moss. 

Moss believes Ngombwa wouldn't have participated in the genocide but instead was trying to escape it. 

 "His father was a Hutu and his mother was a Tutsi, he was considered a Hutu because that was supposed to be the dominant group and then he married a Tutsi so that made him a target right away," Moss says. 

Moss told us the family was run out of their home during the genocide and eventually made their way to a refugee camp where an application to come to the United States was filled out by Ngombwa. 

"He couldn't understand a lot of the things that were being said other than sign the paper and we will get you out of here," says Moss believing a language barrier lead to Ken being charged with fraud.  
"Very definitely the paperwork that he signed if he could have understood it, it would have been fraudulent it would have been wrong," he says. 

Moss says Ngombwa and his family have already been through the unimaginable. 

"Friends and relatives lying there with their arms and legs chopped off, heads chopped off and everything and it scared them, now I think it's to his credit that he got his family out of there," he says. 

The federal court gave us very different information, writing in a media release that they believe Ngombwa killed numerous people during the genocide and intentionally lied to get into the country. 

Friends worry Ngombwa will go to prison or be deported back to Rwanda after Thursday's sentencing, his United States citizenship has already been taken away. 

    
    

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