October 19, 2019

Goodrich TV Proprietor Supposed To Be In Provisional Detention, Has Disappeared

Dr Francis Habumugisha triumphantly leaves court after during his first appearance

Dr Francis Habumugisha, the businessman facing prosecution for assaulting two women is nowhere to be seen yet he is supposed to be in detention awaiting his trial.

Following his arrest mid last month, he was paraded at a court in Kigali where he sought bail. It was granted and freed immediately, but Prosecution appealed.

On October 8, the Appeals court overturned the bail and ordered his rearrest to be kept in custody for at least 30 days. Prosecution had argued that it needs him away from society as he would interface with investigation and witnesses.

However, as of Saturday, Dr Habumugisha had not been rearrested.

Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Mutangana told the media that the suspect is on the run and they have no idea where he is.

Dr Francis Habumugisha is the proprietor of Goodrich TV, which has been off since his troubles began. He is also involved in the sale and distribution of food supplements – a scheme which was also the source of his prosecution.

A young woman Kamali Diane alleges that he assaulted her during a meeting. She filed a case with RIB. However, two months later, she posted on Twitter her case with a mute CCTV video of the alleged beating and complained of inaction. This lead to action from the prosecution.

Another young lady had also been assaulted in that same meeting, according to court submissions.

In the Tweet that complained of inaction before Habumugisha’s arrest, the victim tagged President Paul Kagame and other senior officials, accusing RIB of ignoring her case because the suspect is rich. Days later, Kagame intervened, and the suspect was arrested.

While seeking bail, he argued that he has property and businesses in the country, which he cannot abandon – reasons for which court needs to be assured that he cannot flee.

Dr Habumugisha also said the fact that he had not fled at the time he allegedly committed the said offense, shows he is innocent and wants to clear his name. While the lower court agreed with him on the premise that his assault case was bailable, the appeals court reversed the same decision saying the lower court judge erred in his decision.

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