Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rwandan prosecution suffers setback as Ingabire opts out of case



Mrs Victoire Ingabire with her lawyer Mr Jaan Edwards at high court. Ms Ingabire, who is allegedly accused of threatening state security, genocide denial and promoting ethnic division by the Rwandan government has been in detention since October 2010. 
By EDMUND KAGIRE  (email the author
Associated Press

Posted  Monday, April 16  2012 at  18:25
The trial of the Rwandan opposition figure Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire has taken a new twist with the accused opting to abandon appearing before the Kigali High Court after almost 8 months of her trial.
Ms Ingabire, who is allegedly accused of threatening state security, genocide denial and promoting ethnic division by the Rwandan government cited absence of judicial independence in the country. She has been in detention since October 2010.
While she has been appearing before court, with four of her co-accused since September last year, on Monday the High Court heard that she will not appear before the court again.
“I have decided to stop defending myself in this case. I cannot go on with this case anymore, my confidence in the judiciary has waned,” Ms Ingabire said in her native dialect- Kinyarwanda while appearing before the President of the High Court Alice Rulisa.
She added, “Neither I nor my legal representatives will report to this court anymore.”
Ms Ingabire is accused of forming alliances with the four men, all former members of the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) to create an armed wing of her political organisation FDU-Inkingi, with an aim of causing insecurity in Rwanda.
She however denies all the charges.
The Rwandan Prosecution led by Deputy Prosecutor General Alphonse Hitiyaremye described Ms Ingabire’s move to withdraw from the case as “absurd and stupid”, maintaining that the case will proceed though final decision is to be made on Wednesday (April 18, 2012) by the High Court.
“Since September, Ms Ingabire has been presenting her defense against the charges she is facing before this court, all of sudden, she cannot turn around and say that she does not expect any justice....she was done with her defense, it was the turn of the prosecution to respond to defense and we expect the court will go ahead to listen to prosecution and the sentences it is asking for Ms Ingabire,” Mr Hitiyaremye told court.

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