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Rwanda: General Kagame Still Meddling Into Court Case of Political Prisoner Victoire Ingabire

by Boniface Twagirimana
Interim Vice President, FDU-Inkingi.

Kigali 03rd August 2011 – During the joint press conference held in Kigali on 1st August 2011 at the occasion of the last week’s presidential visit of Museveni in Rwanda, President Paul Kagame discussed the life attempt against General Kayumba Nyamwasa last year in South Africa and the political detention of Ms Victoire Ingabire, the Chair of FDU incarcerated since 14th October 2010. His answers once again confirm his key role in this judicial parody against the opposition leader and that justice in Rwanda is not yet strong or independent enough to challenge orders from the State House. Since the 08th February 2010, when President Kagame announced that the opposition honeymoon was over and that Ms Ingabire will be crushed by the judicial fortress, he has personally and continuously inserted himself directly in the legal case against his key political opponent, despite the fact that the case has been initiated by his government, and which will be heard by courts that are dependent upon his ruling system for their appointment and tenure.

President Kagame stated:

“If you want to know about her collaboration with genocidaires in the Congo and else where, her own contributions towards that, evidence found here, in the Congo and in the Netherlands, in Holland where she comes from, and all obtained through legal means and through proper channels within collaboration with the legal and judicial institutions of these countries, that is there laid before the court (…) If you are a mass murderer or connected with a mass murderer or mass murderers … here we take the matter seriously”.

This is untrue, because the trial’s evidential stages have not yet started. In the pieces of the Court file availed to the defense counsel, this so called overwhelming material from third countries i.e. the Netherlands is not there, simply because it does not exist. We can’t believe that the prosecution is hiding the evidence in a plot to ambush a suspect before the court. The President of the Republic is neither a court judge, nor a prosecutor. How could he publicly discuss court file details in a case if he is not involved in?

Since her arrest, Ms Victoire Ingabire has never seen her medical doctor. After the news in the media that she was denied medical care, the newly appointed Commissioner general of Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) Maj. General Rwarakabije, his deputy Mary Gahonzire and the Mayor of Kigali-City, Fidele Ndayisaba, stormed her prison cell yesterday and informed that her Doctor never went to the prison and that her visitation was reviewed for her own protection because of the quality of her visitors, mostly “outlaws, criminals, thugs, non educated people with no manners”. This is exactly how Kagame’s regime considers its opponents: second class citizens, criminals, terrorists and “useless people”.

The bilateral partners of our country share a stake of responsibility in this political intimidation and the extinction of political space in Rwanda or its consequences.



1 Scooter { 08.05.11 at 6:58 pm }

I can attest to the corrupt behavior of the Rwandan judicial system.
When Prof. Erlinder was in court, no translators from Kinyarwanda were supplied- either in French or English, even though it is required by the Rwandan Constitution and Rwandans have a large pool of of either language to choose from.

So, how do you mount a legal defense? And there were physical repercussions against the the Rwandan lawyer who was trying to defend him.
All we have seen is character assassination and blustering comments with no documentation any of these political cases. If the documents are there, PUBLISH THEM!!!!!

2 MANZI { 08.10.11 at 1:03 pm }

No sense!

3 Uguhigubutwari { 08.16.11 at 9:38 am }

Reasonnable and meaningfull.

4 Chuck Culpepper { 09.07.11 at 11:18 am }

Presidents Kagame of Rwanda and Museveni of Uganda – PLEASE BE AWARE that the world is watching you and that you shall be held accountable to explain your relationships with President Kabila in DRCongo, General Nkunda and many other players in the neocolonial exploitation of DRCongo’s resources and the ongoing suffering of the Congolese people..
The truths regarding Rwanda’s and Uganda’s repressive and undemocratic governments which support greedy elite powerbrokers in Rwanda, Uganda and DRCongo need to be recognized and the consequences of U.S. and other international support of any regimes which do not respect basic human rights and freedoms should be objectively reconsidered, as soon as possible.

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