Does NBC Still Think a Professor Is War Criminal?

by E Wayne Ross on July 2, 2009

Inside Higher Ed: Does NBC Still Think a Professor Is War Criminal?

Last December, NBC News producers approached officials at Goucher College, in Baltimore, asking serious questions about Leopold Munyakazi, a visiting French professor from Rwanda. The producers, accompanied by Rwandan prosecutors, claimed Munyakazi is wanted on charges that he was directly involved in the 1994 genocide in his home country and noted they were working together on a television “series about international war criminals who are living and working in the United States.” In response to the charges, Goucher suspended Munyakazi for the remainder of his time at the college — without any evidence of wrongdoing. Many human rights officials and Munyakazi himself maintain his innocence, asserting that he is probably wanted because of controversial statements he has made about the 1994 conflict instead. The New York Observer reports that NBC is going ahead with the series on war criminals, entitled “The Wanted,” and it will debut July 20. An NBC press release notes the series will feature “an elite team with backgrounds in intelligence, unconventional warfare and investigative journalism” and that it will focus “on real operators, in search of real targets — all in an effort to see individuals brought to justice.” The press release makes no mention of Munyakazi in a list of suspects to be featured in the series. The Observer muses, “Presumably, NBC News is no longer working with Rwandan prosecutors to possibly arrest Mr. Munyakazi.” An NBC spokeswoman did not return a request for comment about whether the series still had an interest in Munyakazi. Kristin Keener, Goucher spokeswoman, said NBC had not told the college if the series would run beyond the two episodes that have been publicly promoted, neither of which will supposedly investigate Munyakazi.