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Rwanda: No bail for Bernard Ntaganda as his co-accused go free

Bernard Ntaganda in court

Bernard Ntaganda in court

Kigali: The chair the PS Imberakuri party Bernard Ntaganda was the only defendant to be further detained at Friday’s trial against the nine opposition leaders accused of terrorism and unlawful gathering.

The seven others present were released; five on conditional bail and two without any conditions. Alice Muhirwa, who collapsed in court Wednesday, did not appear in court today for the verdict. She, however, has left hospital and is back in custody awaiting the court’s decision on her bail application.

In a fully-packed courtroom, Ntaganda was remanded for 30 days until the High Court set a date to hear his appeal. During the reading of the 20-minute verdict, Ntaganda often turned his attention away to the audience. He even made eye contact with Victoire Ingabire, the leader of UDF-Inkingi party who was seated right behind him, and shrugged his shoulders.

Maitre Gatera Gashabana, the lawyer defending Ntaganda and his colleagues, welcomed the release of the seven defendants calling it a very good decision. “The judge took the law into consideration and it shows me we had an independent judge.”

Theogene Muhayeyezu, UDF-Inkingi’s lawyer, and Sylvere Mwizerwa, a member of Ntaganda’s party PS Imberakuri, were both released without conditions.

“I will continue my political career,” said Mwizerwa.

The other defendants Theobald Mutarambirwa, Sylvain Sibomana, Martin Ntavuka and Jean Baptiste Icyitonderwa were ordered to appear before the judge the first and last Friday of every month until further notice.

Ntaganda, a lawyer and leader of the opposition party PS Imberakuri, represented himself during the trial.

Along with accusations of terrorism and organizing an unlawful gathering, Ntaganda was charged with ethnic divisions and Genocide ideology – two extra charges than his other eight defendants. He denies all charges and will remain in Kigali Prison until the High Court sets a date to hear his appeal.

Bernard Ntaganda immediately appealed the judge’s decision not to allow him bail. Court had granted him five days within which to file an appeal.


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July 10, 2010   No Comments

Invitation to Demonstration for Postponment of Rwandan Presidential Elections

Following the excessive and repeated violations human rights, assassinations, and arbitrary arrests followed by tortures, as well as the unjust exclusion of the political opponents of the presidential elections of next August, the Rwandan Civil Society in Belgium (SOCIRWA) in collaboration with:
– Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF),
– FDU-Inkingi,
– PDP-Imanzi,
– the Steering Committee of the Highly Inclusive Inter-Rwandan Dialogue – DIRHI – project)

WHEN: Tuesday, 13 July 2010

WHERE: Rue de la Loi n ° 175, 1000 Brussels (Turnabout Schuman) against the headquarters of the European Union.

Ask the authorities of the European Union:
• To demand the postponement of elections in Rwanda scheduled on 09
• To demand the release of political prisoners in Rwanda including (Bernard Ntaganda, Deo Mushayidi, Victoire Ingabire, several members of the opposition party, etc..)
• To recommend the amendment in Rwanda, or even repeal repressive laws and vague like those on the ideology of genocide and sectarianism;
• To support the process of the Highly Inclusive Inter-Rwandan Dialogue to prevent new conflicts in Central Africa.

13h00 to 13h30 : Meet at the Turnabout Schuman and handed a memorandum to the office of Catherine Ashton, the EU High Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policies
15h00 : Closing remarks addressed to the demonstrators

Responsible organizer : SOCIRWA – GSM +32487616651 or +32475672583.

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July 10, 2010   1 Comment