November 23, 2019

Appeals Court Maintains Life Sentence For Former Presidential Bodyguard Mutabazi

Trustworthy and indepth news stories are more important now than ever.
Support our newsroom by MAKING A CONTRIBUTION HERE
Lt Joel Mutabazi jump from van in which they were transported to hear their final appeal. While the others were in civilian clothing, Mutabazi the key suspect was in full military uniform and his rank (Photo by VOA)

The Court of Appeal on Friday maintained a life sentence for Lt Joel Mutabazi, an Israeli-trained commando, whom a military court found guilty of planning assassination of President Paul Kagame.

In an appeals verdict read in the afternoon, the panel of Justices first apologized for postponing the delivery of their decision for 4 times. They said the case was complex and needed careful handling.

Lt Mutabazi arrived late afternoon with 8 other accused amid heavy security. The appeal hearings were conducted in two groups: 7 of them did not contest their jail terms and instead admitted to all charges. Actually, these sought for forgiveness.

The other was made up Lt Mutabazi and Joseph Nshimiyimana, both jailed for life, who vigorously contested their sentences, demanding they be released because they have no case to answer.

Back in October 2014, Mutabazi and his co-accused were found guilty of varied charges. Mutabazi, the key suspect faced charges including perhaps the most serious; leading plan to assassinate President Kagame.

Mutabazi’s case is, to say the least, a complicated one. He was first arrested years back and he escaped – beating the 24hour top military surveillance. He surfaced in Uganda, where through movie-like sting operation, was brought him back to Rwanda.

Uganda’s all-powerfull former Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura is facing military prosecution for endorsing the alleged abduction of Mutabazi and sending him to Rwanda. Several other police officers are being punished.

The current fallout between Rwandan and Ugandan governments, for a significant part, emanates from Mutabazi’s case.

Graphic details appeared in the case, including, how Mutabazi had to be kept in a cell near the home of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, just so he could be safe. But, immediately he was let free, he ended up in Kigali.

At the beginning of this year, Mutabazi’s appeal was finally scheduled. In the Court of Appeal, Mutabazi narrated how he was being kept in a cell, for which one to access, you go through several doors. The people keeping him, perhaps, knew his commando training cannot be taken for granted.

He also pleaded with court that he was going blind and was not having enough to eat. All these were arguments, he brought forward to demonstrate his alleged illegal detention.

However, appearing for decision day, the appeals judges dismissed all his grounds and maintained the life sentence.

It took four and half hours for the justices to finish reading the sentence. Each read a portion of it then handed to another.

With the failed appeal, there is no other court left. The court process is now complete. It can only be possible if they have a new ground, unrelated to the appeal, to ask the Supreme Court. But this is very unlikely.

However, as par the legal statutes, Mutabazi and Nshimiyimana can petition the Office of the Ombudsman. Here they have to demonstrate beyond doubt that there were errors on the part of the military judges and appeals Justices who handled the case.

When the appeals judges completed reading the verdict, Mutabazi smiled as if not surprised at all. In his full military uniform and rank, he walked to the desk and signed. So did others as well.

And they were back to prison.

We can't do quality journalism without your support

Perhaps it goes without saying — but producing quality journalism isn't cheap. At a time when newsroom resources and revenue are declining, The Chronicles remains committed to "Serving Your Right To Know The Truth". Stand with us as we document Rwanda's remarkable journey for you and the future generation. Do you value our journalism? We can't do it without you. Show us with your support by CONTRIBUTING HERE.
Email your news TIPS to or WhatsApp +250788351327.
You can also find us on Signal


  1. One thing I’ve noticed is that often there are plenty of common myths regarding the banking companies intentions if talking about foreclosures. One misconception in particular is the bank would like your house. The financial institution wants your hard earned cash, not the home. They want the money they loaned you along with interest. Staying away from the bank is only going to draw a foreclosed realization. Thanks for your article.

  2. Whats up this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting
    to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to
    manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so
    I wanted to get advice from someone with experience.
    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  3. whoah this weblog is fantastic i really like studying your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You recognize, lots of individuals
    are looking around for this info, you could aid
    them greatly.

  4. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for.
    Does one offer guest writers to write content for yourself?

    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write about
    here. Again, awesome website!

  5. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  6. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I
    am encountering troubles with your RSS. I don’t know why I
    can’t join it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS problems?
    Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  7. I’ve been surfing online greater than 3 hours nowadays, yet I
    never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely price enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made
    just right content material as you probably did, the web can be
    a lot more helpful than ever before.

  8. I never thought I could achieve my weight loss goals until I found this incredible product. From 100kg to a stunning 70kg, it’s a true life-changer. click here to get started on your journey!

  9. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  10. You are so cool! I don’t believe I’ve read through a single thing like this before. So wonderful to discover someone with some original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

  11. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It’s always interesting to read through content from other authors and use something from their websites.

  12. I truly love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own site and would like to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

  13. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who was doing a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast because I discovered it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this topic here on your website.

  14. How do I know who my husband or wife is chatting with on WhatsApp, then you are already looking for the best solution. Eavesdropping on a phone is much easier than you realize. The first thing to install a spy application on your phone is to get the target phone.

  15. Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Safari, it looks
    fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, excellent
    blog! I saw similar here: Sklep online

  16. Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help
    with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some
    targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results.
    If you know of any please share. Thank you! You can read similar art here: Sklep online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *