The Supreme Court has turned down Victorie Ingabire's appeal against an 8-year sentence handed to her by the High Court last year.
High Court Judge Alice Rulisa had convicted Ingabire of terrorism, endangering state security and denying the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi but both Ingabire and the prosecution appealed the verdict with Ingabire asking for a more lenient sentence while the prosecution went for a much heavier sentence.
In reading their ruling, which lasted for more than four hours, a bench of three Supreme Court judges agreed with the Prosecution that charges against Ingabire were grave in nature and thus deserve a higher sentence, but the Court took into consideration mitigating circumstances which they based on to give Ingabire a 15-year sentence. less than the 25 years which the prosecution had asked for.
The Supreme Court found her guilty of minimizing the genocide, spreading harmful rumors meant to destabilise the country and inciting masses to revolt against the government.
Ingabire's British lawyer Ian Edwards told this paper after reading of the verdict that a decision on the next course of action will be taken after they have studied the verdict but did not rule out petitioning the African Court of Justice.
The Supreme Court also rejected Ingabire's co-accused Vital Uwumurenyi's appeal and upheld his initial sentences of four and six years in jail, with one year suspended, for "the crime of conspiracy in harming authorities through terrorism and war" and for being an accomplice to terrorism.
Ingabire is the leader of FDU-Inkingi and some of the group's members attended the court session as well as diplomats of various countries in Rwanda.