A court in Kigali has found Dr Kayumba Christopher guilty on one of the two charges – agreeing with prosecution’s narrative about a bizarre incident that took place at the Kigali International Airport.
In a brief court session 3pm this Wednesday held at the Nyamirambo Intermediate Court, none of the sides was present. No members of the public were present. By the time Dr Kayumba’s family figured out the room in which the session was being held, it was already completed.
The brief verdict was left with the court registry, which informed the family about the verdict.
The judge ruled that Kayumba was guilty on the charge of causing disturbances at an international airport, in this case referring to incident which allegedly happened on December 10, 2019.
Dr Kayumba is accused of arriving late for a flight and attempting to force his way through. In the ensuing scuffle, he allegedly threatened to “shutdown” the airport.
In his defence during hearing on July 3, he denied the prosecution narrative, arguing he was within the arrival time, and that he was not in position to make such threat to any airport.
However, court today cleared Dr Kayumba of the charge of public drunkenness, which was the key case of the prosecution.
The detailed judgement was not available. Dr Kayumba’s lawyer Me Elie Mugenzi is awaiting the full judgement, which will be posted on the court online system.
Dr Kayumba has 30 days to file appeal. The lawyer says will only determine way forward after reading full judgement and consulting with his client.
In addition, at this point, it remains unclear as to what will happen to Kayumba’s travel plans now that he has been convicted for causing trouble at an international airport.
Various issues arise including whether he may be put into a database of individuals that are flight risk, and what that would mean going forward.
Kayumba’s defense lawyer may not be able to determine impact of the conviction on his international travel even after he is released. It is now a waiting game.