5 October 2018

Rwanda: Kigali Court Releases Kagame's Fierce Critic Diane Rwigara

Photo: Saskia Houttuin/RNW
A manifestation in pink for Victoire Ingabire

The High Court in Kigali on Friday granted bail to a prominent government critic, Diane Rwigara, who has been in jail for more than a year.

Diane's mother, Adeline Rwigara, has also been released.

Diane and her mother had been detained by President Paul Kagame's government over multiple criminal charges.

Diane is facing charges of forgery related to her unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2017 in which she was disqualified.

She also faces insurrection charges along with her mother who is also accused of promoting sectarianism.

But on Friday, a three-judge bench said the prosecution did not give credible reasons why the pair should be detained during their trial.

LEAKED NUDES

Diane's family troubles began last year when she was arrested along with more a dozen people after she declared her intentions to run against President Kagame in the country's election last year.

In what is widely believed to have been a smear campaign to discredit her, in June 2017, after announcing that she would be running for president, Diane suffered the indignity of having her nudes leaked on social media.

She later she dismissed the nudes as fake and blamed their circulation on her political opponents.

In June 2018, Rwandan authorities also auctioned off her family's business assets and sold machinery from the family's tobacco business for almost Sh2 billion ($2m) in a bid to recover Sh7 billion ($7m) in tax arrears.

But Diane's family has maintained that the auction and charges against her are politically motivated.

Her trial will resume hearing on November 7.

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