Rwanda: Victoire Ingabire Appears in Court
Kigali — Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the leader of the yet-to-be registered political party, FDU-Inkingi, was yesterday arrested and arraigned before Gasabo Intermediate Court.
Ingabire is charged with association with a terrorist group, propagating the Genocide Ideology, Revisionism and Ethnic Division.
Clad in a grey suit and holding a black handbag, Ingabire arrived in court at around 3.30pm and headed straight to a prosecution room where she stayed for about half an hour before appearing in the courtroom.
She and her lawyer, Protais Mutembe, listened attentively as the representative from the National Public Prosecution Authority read the three charges before the Vice President of the court, Maurice Mbishibishi.
Ingabire is also accused of promoting the genocide ideology through her declarations and speeches made while she was still living in Europe and upon arrival in the country, which contravenes articles 1-4 of the 2008 law against Genocide Ideology.
Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, dismissed claims from Ingabire’s camp that she was being persecuted for her political views.
“The prosecution’s case against Ms Ingabire is based on facts and evidence,” said Ngoga, adding that being a politician did not place her above the law.
“The actions that led to these charges against Ms Ingabire are extremely serious and cannot go unpunished”.
Prosecution pointed to a speech she delivered at Kigali Memorial Centre at Gisozi, upon her arrival, where she lamented that the memorial site only honours the Genocide against the Tutsis but Hutus were left out.
It added that through her declarations and utterances, Ingabire not only engaged in Genocide denial, but also promoted ethnic divisionism.
Since her arrival in January, Ingabire has uttered revisionist statements suggesting that there was double Genocide in 1994.
She has also, in her declarations, appealed for ethnic sentiments in her quest for political support.
It was revealed that Ingabire had been in constant contact with the rebels based in Eastern DRC with the aim of forming armed groups to attack Rwanda.
According to the Prosecution, Ingabire while still in Europe shuttled between Amsterdam and Kinshasa to meet top FDLR commanders who she was trying to convince to quit the militia and launch a new offensive under FDU Inkingi/CDF.
The prosecution maintains that Ingabire met Lt. Col Tharcisse Mutwende in 2008 to convince him to leave the rebel group, mainly Ex-FAR Interahamwe, and also sent him money through Western Union.Ingabire claimed she did not know the said FDLR officer or having travelled to Kinshasa to meet the group.
Her bail application will be decided today.