January 21, 2022

Korean National Sentenced by Rwanda Courts Twice But Has Not Been Arrested

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Jin Joseph, the convicted South Korean

Remember Kanyandekwe Pascal, the man who allegedly offered a million dollars to South African Police to release him? He has resurfaced in a different case, this time in Rwanda.

Kanyandekwe dragged a South Korean business partner to a Rwandan court. However, the case has had mysterious happenings.

Here is how it has unfolded. This Thursday, the High Court maintained a sentence issued by the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court. The South Korean had been sentenced in March last year to a 5-year jail term plus a Rwf 3m fine for forgery.

Early last year, Prosecution filed charges of forgery against South Korean national Jin Joseph from a dossier brought by RIB since 2019. The case had been filed by a one Pascal Kanyandekwe.

For starters, Kanyandekwe came to prominence following the 2010 failed assassination attempt on exiled Rwandan ex-army chief Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa. Kanyandekwe was among suspects arrested and charged.

South African prosecutors claimed that during his arrest at the airport, he had offered $1m cash to police officers who had detained him, so they could let him free. He was described in court by prosecutors as the “mastermind” of the crime.

Following the high profile trial involving six suspects, two were acquitted including Kanyandekwe. He immediately returned to Rwanda, and has since been out of public view.

Back here, the case Kanyandekwe filed against the South Korean, is that the latter defrauded him yet they were business partners. He was seeking Rwf 30.5m compensation.

The case file reads that Kanyandekwe and Jin were partners in a company here in Rwanda caed Mutara E&C Ltd. In 2017, the firm bid for major government tender US$ 960,000 (about Rwf 960m). It was a tender connected to Mpanga Irrigation Project.

We had not yet obtained the exact details about the tender by press time.

Kanyandekwe alleged that Jin went behind his back and opened another company with same name and registered it in Mauritius. This time though, the South Korean registered himself as sole shareholder.

As a result, the South Korean became the tender implementer of the contract and would be the one to be paid.

Jin allegedly also transferred Rwf 300m of the contract money to the Mauritius company’s bank account.

To do all the above maneuvers, according to Kanyandekwe’s case file, the South Korean forged a stamp of Mutara E&C Ltd which he used to register the new company in Mauritius and also open bank account.

Pascal Kanyandekwe appearing in the South African court during the highly publicized trial

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court agreed with State Prosecutors who were arguing on behalf of Kanyandekwe and convicted the South Korean as had been prayed.

The court also ruled that the South Korean pay Kanyandekwe Rwf 30.5m as compensation.

The Chronicles has established that throughout the case since RIB got the file in 2019, the South Korean was not arrested or sought for arrest. Even in the lower court, he was a free man.

The South Korean filed an appeal through his lawyers, claiming innocence over all the allegations.

The High Court issued it’s verdict yesterday. It maintained the jail sentence of the lower court. It also fined him Rwf 3m.

However, it dismissed the said monetary compensation sought by Kanyandekwe, ruling that he didn’t say exactly what the compensation was for in the court documents. The lower court also didn’t ask what the compensation was for.

The other intriguing issue  which emerged from the lower court’s verdict and that of the High Court, is that neither of them ruled that the South Korean had to be arrested to serve his sentence.

The Chronicles has also been told that the reason the courts didn’t rule on the arrest of the South Korean is because Prosecution didn’t ask for it.

Also, for all the hearings, the sessions were held virtually as the South Korean never attended any court sessions physically.

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