17 May 2014

Rwanda: Suspected Rwamagana Teen Killer Faces Special Hearing

Fabrice Nizeyimana, 22, a suspected murderer of 15-year-old Hassina Uwineza, on Thursday, made his initial appearance before a judge to answer murder and rape charges against him.

The hearing was held in the open and attended by hundreds of neighbours of the victim in Munyinya Sector in Rwamagana District, the same area where the suspect lived.

Nizeyimana is accused of raping, torturing and murdering Uwineza.

During the hearing, the accused confessed to murdering the victim, but denied raping her.

He sought lenience, saying he committed the crime under the influence of alcohol.

"I strangled the girl in the middle of the night with my bare hands. I, however, never raped her. I acted alone," the suspect told the open court held at the grounds of a Catholic church in Mwurire Cell.

However, the prosecutor maintained that the accused premeditated the murder and that his confession is only partial because there were others involved in the crime as opposed to Nizeyimana's claims .

The prosecutor called for maximum sentence, saying the victim was young and was raped by her assailants.

"Though the suspect has pleaded guilty before this court, he has admantly refused to name his accomplices. He is also rejecting rape charges yet a medical report proved it beyond doubt," said the prosecutor, who refused to identify himself, referring this paper to the prosecution spokesperson, Alain Mukuralinda in Kigali.

The judge set the verdict on May 27 following the deliberations.

Meanwhile, police had to restrain angry residents who wanted to lynch the suspect.

The suspect was immediately whisked away in a police van.

Francoise Gasengayire, the mother of the deceased, said the cruelty her daughter was subjected to couldn't be compared to even a life sentence.

"I lost my daughter at a tender age, just because a vagabond decided to take her life. I have no words to express my feelings... government should consider reinstating the death sentence," said the grieving mother.

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