November 7, 2019

State Seeks 12 Year Jail Term for FDU Inkingi Party Members In Lengthy Trial

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The 10 suspects appearing at a previous session. The lone woman is at the extreme end

The State prosecutor has prayed to court for a 12 year and six month sentence for opposition party members for a single charge of conspiracy to commit terrorism.

In final submission for the trial of 10 men and a woman, which has been going on since 2017, the prosecutor today put the accused into a category he called “brain” and another as “recruits. He said they were part of a wider conspiracy to cause insecurity in Rwanda.

Appearing in court are 9 men and a woman. The Eleventh suspect Boniface Twagirimana, who was the vice president of Ingabire Victoire’s FDU Inkingi group, has been missing since October last year. His colleagues say he was kidnapped from prison, but the state says he escaped.

The suspects, arrested seperately back in 2016 and 2017, are alleged to have been mobilising others to join “P5”, a group which the UN has confirmed is operating in South Kivu, eastern Congo.

ALSO READ: Questionable SMS Data Presented In Court Against Members Of Armed Groups In DR Congo

Those in the ” brain” category are Bonifase Twagirimana, Fabien Twagirayasu, Gratien Nsabiyaremye, Evode Mbarushimana, Venant Abayisenga, Theophile Ntirutwa, Leonile Gasengayire (female).

Whereas, the so called “recruits” as branded by prosecution, are: Papias Ndayisenga, Norbert Mfitamahoro, Athanase Kanyarukiko and Ernest Nkiko.

The trial has been taking place at High Court International Crimes Division in Nyanza district, southern province.

In their final defense, using a narrative which seems to have agreed upon, they said the same message to the judges, that they hope God will shine a light on the judges so that they see the truth and dismiss the state’s accusations.

Athanase Kanyarukiko, however, throughout the trial, admitted to the crimes, and his submissions were actually used by prosecution against the other 10. This left people who attended the sessions, Ingabire and her colleagues, to claim Kanyarukiko was a spy sent on mission, which led to arrest of the others.

The defense lawyer was Gatera Gashabana, who was Ingabire’s lawyer during her prosecution up to the Supreme Court.

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