The New Times (Kigali)

29 January 2013

Rwanda: Court Rejects Mugesera's Medical Report

Photo: John Mbanda/The New Times
Genocide suspect Leon Mugesera (left) with his lawyer.

The Special Chamber of the High Court has rejected a medical certificate presented by Leon Mugesera's defence lawyer on grounds that it was not authentic.

Mugesera, suspected of playing a lead role in planning the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, was last year deported from Canada where he had sought refuge for close to 20 years.

His trial began in substance last week, but it was suspended due to the defendant's alleged illness.

The trial resumed on Monday and Mugesera was supposed to continue with his defence yesterday, but his lawyer, Felix Rudakemwa, presented a medical certificate indicating that a doctor had issued his client with a two-day medical leave to undergo some examinations.

However, prosecutor Jean Bosco Mutangana objected, citing questionable authenticity of the document.

"We are not contesting the fact that Mugesera might be sick, we just want his lawyer to produce an authentic medical certificate. What we have before us doesn't show where the doctor works, has no letterhead and is not approved by the prison services," Mutangana, said, "we need proof that this is a recognised doctor."

Rudakemwa was asked to respond to the prosecution.

"The doctor who issued this document is called Tegejo Muruhe and works with Muhima Hospital. He issued the medical certificate from Kigali Central Prison where Mugesera is being held. That is why this document doesn't have all the details that this court requires," said Rudakemwa.

After Rudakemwa's failure to convince the court, Judge Athanase Bakuzakundi ruled that the court will not consider the medical certificate.

"Court has decided that this trial resumes tomorrow (today)," ruled Judge Bakuzakundi.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.