No bail for Rwandan opposition leader Bernard Ntaganda
Kigali – Opposition politician Bernard Ntaganda will spend the next 30 days in the Kigali Central Prison as demanded by the state following a High Court ruling on Friday.
The High Court dismissed the appeal Ntaganda had filed against a lower court ruling which was to keep him in preventive custody for 30 days as prosecution continues to put together the charge-sheet.
Ntaganda, who heads a faction of the PS Imberakuri party, was arrested on June 24 and charged with Genocide ideology, promoting ethnic divisionism, murder, terrorism and organizing illegal gatherings.
The other eight co-accused were granted bail, but Ntaganda was refused bail by the same lower court in Kigali earlier this month. He immediately filed an appeal, arguing among other grounds, that the prosecution and police had kept him without charges beyond the legal 72hours.
In the ruling Friday, the High Court said the appeal grounds did not merit consideration because the days he was counting as those he was illegally detained, was the weekend. The court said state organs do not work on weekends.
Ntaganda had also filed health concerns for the bail appeal, arguing that staying in jail was having a big impact on his health. Looking frail and buttered all through the proceedings during the past weeks, Ntaganda said he was not able to eat, and that he has been only drinking water.
The High Court said there were no indications to suggest Ntaganda required special treatment as compared to other inmates.
The controversial politician also claimed the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court was incompetent to try him because he is a senior politician in the country. The High Court said Ntaganda was charged as an individual.
The ruling means that Ntaganda will spend the next 30 days in the maximum security prison known here as “1930”, during which time prosecution will continue with investigations.
Ntaganda was not in court when the verdict was read.