29 January 2013

Rwanda: Mugesera Calls in Sick Again

Leon Mugesera on Tuesday failed to appear in court, according to his lawyer Felix Rudakemwa due to sudden illness. "I have been informed by the doctor this morning that his condition deteriorated and the medical personnel recommended two days of medical attention."

He therefore requested for a "short adjournment" to enable Mugesera to recover.

However, the prosecution questioned the validity of the medical report Rudakemwa presented. "The report served to the court seems to be null since it has no hospital stamp and letterhead, how could anyone believe that this report was got from a licensed doctor?" asked prosecutor Jean Bosco Mutangana. "Mugesera might be ill but this medical report is not authentic; let them go back and bring a genuine one, this one is questionable."

This caused a heated exchange between the prosecution and the defense, which prompted presiding judge Anastse Bakuzakundi to intervene. "Ethically, whenever there is a medical issue the defendant should have contacted us rather than confronting us with this request."

The judge asked Mugesera's defense lawyer to verify his client's ill health claims and to produce a genuine medical report before the end of the day as requested by the prosecution.

The case had already been interrupted last week due to ill health of Mugesera.

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