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Rwanda: Mrs Ingabire appeals to the Supreme Court to quash the sentence: her 1st audition

By�Boniface Twagirimana, Interim Vice President

Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

Mrs Ingabire appeals to the Supreme Court to quash the sentence passed by the High Court because it was based on matters that were not brought before the court by the Prosecution.

On Wednesday 17th April 2013 Mrs Ingabire Umuhoza, made submission to the Supreme Court, asking the Supreme Court to quash the sentence passed on her by the High court because the latter had cleared her of the charges brought before it but strangely based its sentence on matters that did not appear in the prosecution’s charges.

Mrs Ingabire reminded the Supreme Court of the charges brought against her by the Prosecution namely: genocidal ideology, complicity in acts of terrorism, subversive activities, spreading rumors, and forming an armed rebel group and trying to jeopardize state security and some dispositions of the constitution.

Mrs Ingabire was then surprised that the High Court which cleared her on these charges, found her guilty of the crimes of high treason and negationism which the Prosecution did not bring against her. Besides, she was never questioned on these issues by the prosecution, the Police, or even the court.

Mrs Ingabire told the Supreme Court that her appeal rested on 3 following key issues:

1. The agreement between the Governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of Rwanda which is contained in a communiqu� dated 9th November 2007. It was mediated by the UN.

The agreement stipulated that FDLR combattants who would be repatriated would not be held accountable for acts that happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo, except those who already have arrest warrants issued by ICTR or Rwanda for the crime of genocide against Tutsi, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mrs Ingabire pointed out that the Prosecution deliberately ignored this agreement in order to find witnesses against her, namely her co-accused. In her opinion, the case against the co-accused was a tool to bargain their collaboration in order to get false testimony against her. Unfortunately the High Court ignored this fact which is not only a denial of justice but also a threat to regional peace.

2. Mrs Ingabire told the Supreme Court that there were serious issues during the deliberations of the High Court relating to the judicial decision of the Netherlands. She pointed out that the Dutch justice system never asked the Rwandan government, as it should be the case, to implement its decision. In this regard Mrs Ingabire showed how the High Court had made errors in the interpretation of article 91 of the Rwandan law 051/2008 dated 9th September 2008. The quoted article clearly stipulates that “the High Court will hear complaints which require execution by foreign courts “.

3. Mrs Ingabire regretted that the High Court did not respect the decision of the court in Rotterdam that was communicated to the Rwandan justice system. She pointed that the pieces of evidence A, D and E could only be used in the charges relating to complicity in acts of terrorism. However, Mrs Ingabire pointed out that the pieces of evidence were fraudulently used for a different charge relating to a new charge of high treason and violated the agreement with the justice system of the Netherlands. She asked the Supreme Court to reject those pieces of evidence.

With regard to the charge of negationism, Mrs Ingabire stated that the Prosecution had retained the charge of genocidal ideology. The defence had shown that the charge of genocidal ideology cannot be held because the law�18/2008 relating to it was enacted and promulgated after the acts she is alleged to have committed. The charge was then changed into negationism. However no evidence was given to her to prove the new charge nor was she ever questioned about it either in court, by the Prosecution or the Police.

With regard to negationism and genocidal ideology, Mrs Ingabire declared that some of its dispositions violated the National Constitution. She informed the Supreme Court that she wanted to use all the judicial processes in Rwanda before she can appeal the African Court for Human Rights.

Regarding other flaws in the trial process, Mrs Ingabire asked the Supreme Court to examine carefully the contradictions in the statements of the Prosecution, its evidence, its statements during the court hearings as well as in the witness statements of her co-accused. She was sure that the judge would have no difficulty in acquitting her of the two charges if all the elements she presented were taken into account.

The submissions by Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza continue on Thursday 18th 2013.

Source: FDU-Inkingi

April 19, 2013   No Comments