State to close Ingabire case
Prosecution will today make its final submissions before the High Court in a case involving Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and her co-accused.
The court proceedings are currently being held in the absence of Ingabire, the lead defendant, after she boycotted the trial a week ago.
Before we received the documents, we had interrogated the co-accused and the information they gave to the court clearly matches what was found in Ingabire’s home in the Netherlands
She faces charges of terrorism, promoting ethnic division and propagating genocide ideology.
While appearing before court earlier, Ingabire had denied claims that she was sending money to members of FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) who were working with her.
FDLR is a terrorist outfit operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and is mainly made up of elements responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Ingabire claimed she never sent the money to DRC, but Vital Uwumuremyi, one of the co-accused, says that Ingabire is the one who always gave him the access code to get the money from Western Union,” charged prosecutor Alain Mukuralinda.
“This is the same case with Phocas Nsabimana, a witness who also confirmed that Ingabire often sent money,” he added.
According to the Prosecution, one Specioza Mujawayezu, another witness, told the investigators that on several occasions, Ingabire asked her to send money to an unidentified person in DRC.
Others who sent money to DRC on the request of Ingabire include her daughter, husband and one Regina Uwineza, according to prosecutors.
“It is evident that the money she was sending to the Congo jungles was aimed at establishing a terrorist group because one of the documents seized from her house in The Netherlands clearly shows how they intended to do that while Uwumuremyi also attested to it,” said Mukuralinda.
Ingabire is also on record saying if the leadership in Rwanda doesn’t change then a lot more blood would be shed than that of 1994. More than a million people were killed then.
Ingabire had denied knowledge of the documents seized from her home in the Netherlands but could not explain how they ended up in her residence.
The documents are part of the evidence against her sent to Rwanda by the Dutch government.
“Before we received the documents, we had interrogated the co-accused and the information they gave to the court clearly matches what was found in Ingabire’s home in the Netherlands,” Mukuralinda told court.
Ingabire’s co-accused include Capt. Jean Marie Vianney Karuta who is accused of being a member a terrorist group and planning activities aimed at causing state insecurity.
Karuta, a former FDLR officer, pleaded guilty.
He defected from FDLR together with Lt. Col Tharcisse Nditurende and Lt. Col Noel Habiyakare who are also among the co-accused, joined hands to form the FDU-Inkingi’s armed wing, CDF-Inkingi, whose main aim was to destabilise security in the country.
The two officers also pleaded guilty of having acted in cohort with Ingabire to form the rebel movement.
The fourth accomplice in the Ingabire case is Vital Uwumuremyi, a former member of FDLR, and also entered a guilty plea to the three counts against him.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Mukuralinda said that apart from Ingabire, the other accomplices are likely to get a lenient sentence considering they pleaded guilty and requested for parole if they are sentenced.
The prosecuting team is made up of Mukuralinda, Bonavanture Ruberwa and deputy Prosecutor General, Alphonse Hitiyaremye.
Contact email: edwin.musoni[at]newtimes.co.rw