6 October 2017

Rwanda: Kigali Court Adjourns Rwigaras' Case to Next Week

Photo: Cyril Ndegeya/The East African
Members of the late Kigali tycoon Assinapol Rwigara’s family when they were taken in for questioning by Rwanda police on September 4, 2017 at their residence in Kiyovu.

A Kigali court has adjourned the pretrial hearing of a critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame facing criminal charges.

Diane Rwigara, who was barred from contesting the presidency in the August 4 election, is charged with forgery and inciting insurrection.

She appeared before the three-judge bench at the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Friday morning.

Her mother Adeline and sister Anne, similarly facing charges of inciting insurrection, were also brought before the court. Mrs Rwigara is also charged with discrimination and sectarian practices.

The court put off the hearing until next week after the three women said they had not been allowed to meet with their family lawyer Pierre Celestin Buhuru.

"The lawyer has been chased away several times whenever he wanted to talk to us. We have not had time to talk to him and to understand the charges against us for us to know how to go about this," Anne told the court.

The prosecution, led by Mr Michele Nshimiyimana, said they had informed Mr Buhuru and asked the judges to ask trio "if they indeed want to be represented".

"No trial can be held today since the accused have no lawyers," the court said.

"Look for your lawyers," the judges told the Rwigaras.

"The trial has been adjourned to October 9, 2017 at 9am."

The trio has been in detention for two weeks.

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