A court in Kigali has sentenced a key organiser of a fruadulent conference in which up to 5,000 unsuspecting youths were lured with promises of riches.
The Kagarama primary court on Monday jailed Kenyan-American Dr Charles Kinuthia to two years in jail for fraud. He will also be required to pay a fine of Rwf 3m.
However, the court cleared him of the charge of organising illegal meeting, referring to the infamous gathering on the morning of June 25.
Dr Kinuthia’s lawyers managed to convince the judge that the event was duly held, as he paid $4,000 cash to Radisson Blu Hotel for hiring the Kigali Internaional Convention Center.
Kenyan co-accused Rachel Matipei and Vivian Khisa, both women, were cleared of all charges and were released.
Rwandan Niyonkuru Mohammed, whose SIM card was used by hundreds to send money as payment to attend the event, was also acquitted.
According to the Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB), the organisers expected 500 attendees, instead thousands showed up. About a dozen people were arrested in connection to the saga, but were freed after investigators found they were also victims like everybody else.
They had been asked to pay Rwf 4,500, but some paid more, as the flyers sent to all of them had indicated different packages.
The Chronicles has extensively covered this case, which shocked the nation.
Kinuthia’s lawyer has already indicated he will appeal the court’s decision.