20 October 2012

Rwanda: Ingabire Verdict Postponed

Photo: Victoire-Ingabire
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire speaks with her lawyer.

The High Court yesterday postponed the verdict of Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire and her co-accused to October 30.

The presiding judge, Alice Rulisa, yet again attributed the postponement to the petition the defendant had filed at Supreme Court, which she lost on Thursday.

"We had previously adjourned the ruling to today expecting that the Supreme Court would pronounce its decision on the constitutionality of the genocide ideology law on October 5. However, the Supreme Court decision was only announced yesterday October 18.

"We need more time to come up with a verdict that puts into the account the Supreme Court decision on genocide ideology," said Rulisa.

She regretted the continued delay in the trial in which Ingabire is accused of terrorism-related charges.

Ingabire, who heads a yet to be registered FDU-Inkingi party, lost her Supreme Court petition challenging the genocide ideology law, which she averred was contravening the constitutional provision of freedom of expression.

Neither Ingabire nor her lawyers were at the court yesterday.

Her four co-accused and former FDLR combatants namely Lt. Col Tharcisse Nditurende, Lt. Col Noel Habiyaremye, Major Vital Uwumuremyi and Capt. Jean Marie Vianney Karuta, were present.

Her trial, which began in September 2011, found her statements at the Kigali Memorial Centre - Gisozi to be in clear violation of the Genocide Ideology Law of July 2008.

Ingabire allegedly espoused the double Genocide theory and during an appearance before the Supreme Court, she claimed that she found nothing wrong in accusing Tutsis of killing Hutus the same way Hutus did.

She is accused of bankrolling terrorism and denying the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. In March, this year. Ingabire contested the legality of the genocide ideology law.

She is also accused of terrorism. Prosecution and witness accounts linked her to a militia based in the Democratic Republic of Congo with whom she allegedly planned to carry out subversive activities on Rwandan territory.

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