7 November 2017

Rwanda: High Court Adjourns Rwigaras' Bail Appeal Case

Photo: Cyril Ndegeya/The East African
Diane Rwigara.

The High Court on Tuesday ruled to adjourn the bail hearing of two members of the Rwigara family who had lodged an appeal against their remand over charges related to inciting insurrection.

Only Diane Rwigara appeared in High Court on Tuesday while her mother, Adeline Rwigara wrote to court saying she could not make it because she was unwell.

Diane faces additional forgery-related charges, which were discovered by the National Electoral Commission during the evaluation of nominations for the recently concluded presidential elections.

Her mother, Adeline, also faces another separate charge of promoting divisionism and discrimination.

Diane told court that she couldn't come with her lawyer, Pierre-Célestin Buhuru because he had another case in the Supreme Court, then asked for the hearing to be adjourned.

Gatera Gashabana representing Adeline Rwigara said that his client was sick and was not even summoned because she only received the court's schedule.

Prosecution represented by Faustin Mukunzi and Faustin Nkusi said that arguments by defence were baseless and even requested that the lawyer who skipped court be sanctioned.

Reading the decision by the court, the presiding judge says that Adeline's letter shouldn't be taken into consideration as no doctor had confirmed she was really sick, adding that even Buhuru's absence in court was unjustified.

But the judge said that in the interest of justice, court had decided to adjourn the bail hearing to November 16.

In later October, the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court had remanded Adeline Rwigara and her daughter Diane Rwigara for 30 days while Anne Rwigara, the other suspect in the case, was granted bail.

Before they were sent on remand, the Nyarugenge had had to adjourn their trial four times over different reasons that were presented by the defendants.

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