Growing frustration as FDU-Inkingi members are not allowed to visit jailed opposition leader Victoire Ingabire
by Boniface Twagirimana
RWANDA :CONTINUED ISOLATION FOR VICTOIRE INGABIRE.
It has been 9 weeks without allowing prison visits for political prisoner Victoire Ingabire, Chair of FDU-INKINGI, incarcerated in Kigali maximum prison since 14 October 2011. Today, the jailers informed that they already have their own 3 visitors, outsiders of the political party. 16 visiting members left without seeing their leader.
On 16 May 2011, the trial of Madame Victoire Ingabire was postponed to 20 June 2011 due to Prosecution contradictions and inconsistencies. Her lawyers have written to the High Court addressing crucial issues and lack of fairness.
“The case of Victoire Ingabire is an exceptional case which must be prepared thoroughly and properly. It has attracted much media attention, both in Rwanda and abroad. The defence requires adequate time and facilities to prepare for what is likely to be a lengthy and complicated trial”, said the defense counsel.
As for the surveillance of defense conferences by intelligence officers, the High Court was informed as well.
“The defence has complained about this unacceptable monitoring, which we feel amounts to actual interference, on numerous occasions to Mr Kamugisha, the Director of Kigali Central Prison, in person. In spite of assurances that this interference would cease, the monitoring continues. The defence has gone so far as to raise the issue with Martin Ngoga, General Prosecutor, in person, and Mary Gahonzire, High Commissioner for Prisons, both in person and in writing… Again, assurances have been given that the practice would stop. Nevertheless, the interference persists. The defence has cause to wonder whether any of these persons have any real authority over those carrying out this monitoring and feel that this is a matter of grave concern”.
“It is the defence position that the continuous monitoring and surveillance of conferences with our client amounts to unlawful interference in our client’s right to a fair trial”.
The prosecution introduced new co-defendants, pleading guilty, in the Courtroom. The defense counsel has never received any information about those “terrorist” guilty pleaders turned key witnesses.
This is nothing else than a judicial circus. Any meaningful chance of fairness has been ruined.