Frustrated Rwandan prosecutor still hunting for evidence against opposition politician Ingabire
Kigali – State prosecutors in the terrorism case against opposition politician Victoire Ingabire have accused some countries of not cooperating in the investigations into her “terrorist activities”, but also welcomed the support that some governments in this region have offered.
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said immediately after Ingabire was refused bail by the Gasabo Intermediate Court that ongoing investigation into the activities of Ingabire would be “far-reaching” – with information expected to come from many places.
In a statement, Ngoga thanked countries in the region for their collaboration and urged other countries from which Rwanda had requested information, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States to cooperate in what he called “this far-reaching terrorist investigation”.
“In public, Victoire Ingabire masquerades as a politician. But behind the scenes she operates as a terrorist leader and financier,” Ngoga was quoted as saying.
Ingabire is charged along with a former FDLR commander Major Vital Uwumuremyi of planning to set up a rebel group – CDF, which would be the armed wing of the yet-to-be registered FDU Inkingi party, which Ingabire heads. Prosecution has labeled the group a terrorist oganisation intent on overthrowing a legitimate government.
In court on Monday and Tuesday, it was not clear if Major Uwumuremyi was being treated as a co-accused to Ingabire or a prosecution witness, as he was brought in by prosecution as one of its witnesses. He was also charged with the same cases.
On Tuesday, as the court ruled to deny Ingabire bail and remanding her to 30 days in jail as investigations continue, she erupted in an outburst – accusing the judiciary of working for the ruling RPF party. She has described the charges against her as fabricated and politically motivated, and has vowed to appeal the verdict.
Ngoga said in the statement: “Ms. Ingabire’s personal safety is assured throughout the judicial process and that she will receive a fair trial”.
In the meantime, Ingabire spends her first night in the maximum security ‘1930’ prison in Kigali, as she prepares the defense for the bail appeal. Since October 14, she has been held at the Kicukiro police station, according to police.
Her party has claimed that she has been refused food and a mattress which have been provided by them – calling the conditions in the cell as inhumane. The group also says Ingabire has been having her handcuffs all the time.
The Police have dismissed these concerns, as has the Prosecutor General Ngoga, who said Ingabire would not be treated any different from other inmates.
It has not been clear if Ingabire was being held in a cell with other suspects in custody there, or separately – considering the charges against her.