Rwanda Information Portal

Ingabire trial: Rwanda has adopted ‘Snail Strategy’

par Boniface Twagirimana,
Interim Vice President of FDU-Inkingi


Kigali 13 September 2011 – Since the opening of this politically motivated trial, Paul Kagame’s government has adopted a snail strategy in order to divert national and international attention and hoping that the defense will end up in exhaustion. After the prosecutor failed the adjournment, he did not allow the key defendant Madame Victoire Ingabire, FDU-Inkingi chair, to pronounce any single word and instead he has been endlessly repeating the indictments.

The strategic low speed has nothing to do with the volume of the file . For example today on the 6th day of the trial, the Prosecutor has been reading again a dozen of documents supposedly from the inbox of the collaborating key witnesses Vital Uwumuremyi and Tharcisse Nditurende who pretend that those emails copies from an unknown sender are overwhelming proof of the funding of terrorist acts. In total, the allegations concern a total amount of 11,000 US dollars sent between 2008 and 2010 by different people to different recipients. Though the accuracy of those emails and locally completed western union forms is not established, the link between the names of different people involved and Madame Victoire Ingabire is not established beyond any doubt. The real substance of the much touted lengthy and meticulous investigation is not visible. It’s only mere statements volunteered by some defeated prisoners who happenened to belong to the FDLR and who are now serving the victor’s justice.

It’s clear that the government is buying time, expecting that the British barrister Iain Edwards who started the case will not stay indefinitely in Kigali and that he will need to return and take care of other national and international Court cases that need his attention. From the start, many european countries and international human rights organisations have been following the debates on a day-to-day basis. This has been a serious challenge to the prosecutor’s evidential content.

The same time, President Paul Kagame and the Foreign affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo continue to insert themselves in the case claiming that there is overwhelming evidence . For example on 11 september in Paris, echoing her president, the foreign minister told Radio France International: “Ingabire has committed extremly serious crimes. She is in court now, to defend her rights. If she is innocent, the court will tell. Let the future shows the truth”. Why they did not let her free of her movements and leave the judicial continue its course? This is just intimidation because they know that a judge who will engage the president of Rwanda or contradict him inside the country will put his career at risk. Should they respect or believe in their own judicial system, they would let it do its business with no interferences.

The trial is scheduled to continue every day from 08 to 13:00.

1 comment

1 Paul Rwego { 09.17.11 at 3:37 pm }

Dear sir/madam,
I would like to suggest that if the government of Rwanda tries to bring emails whose sender is unknown to court as evidence , then I hope this has no juridical proof and this a big shame.
The lawyers of the defendant should use their experience and expertism to their desposal by digging further by contacting the email servers such as the yahoo, gmail or hotmail to prove the origin of these emails, other than wasting time on unknown emails.
Rwandan Justice should not play cat and mouse tactics to increminate someone , to stupidity and to the extent of presenting unknown emails as an evidence to the accused!!
Thank you.
Paul Rwego

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