13 February 2013

Rwanda: Judiciary Sacks Ten Over Corruption

Ten justice personnel - judges and court clerks - were sacked over corruption related practices during the past two years.

In 2011, seven judicial practitioners were charged with corruption while three were charged last year.

The Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege, made the announcement during a news conference on Monday at the Supreme Court in Kigali. The same event also marked the launch of the anti-corruption week.

"Corruption cases among judicial practitioners have been reported mainly in lower courts. We had one case of a High Court judge in Musanze, but, so far, we do not have any corruption case involving a staff in the Supreme Court," the Chief Justice said.

He also dismissed claims that corruption among the court officials may possibly be a result of low pay, saying that most of the cases arrested include people who are soliciting for as little as Rwf30,000.

"But we can confidently say that cases of corruption have tremendously reduced although some of our staff may still be involved in the vice," said Rugege.

He attributed the decrease in corruption figures to the tight measures against the culprits, including dismissals.

The Chief Justice also condemned judges who render lenient sentences to judicial practitioners convicted of corruption.

This is the third time the Judiciary is marking the anti-corruption week, dedicated to fight corruption related deeds y. It's held on an annual basis.

During the course of the week, about 40 cases will be tried in various courts across the country.

Rwanda is ranked among countries with the least corrupt justice system by Transparent International and the Global Competitiveness report of 2012/2013.

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