Prosecution drops charges against newspaper editors

KIGALI - The office of the Prosecutor General has pulled out of lawsuits against two editors of a local media group.

KIGALI - The office of the Prosecutor General has pulled out of lawsuits against two editors of a local media group.

The prosecution says it’s no longer interested in pursuing two defamation cases leveled against the managing director/chief editor of Rwanda Independent Media Group (RIMEG) newspapers, Charles Kabonero and Didas Gasana, who is the managing director of Newsline.

RIMEG is the parent company of weeklies Newsline, Umuseso and Rwanda Champion, a sports and entertainment tabloid.

The Nyarugenge Lower Instance Court had earlier this week served summons to the two journalists in connection with charges allegedly committed between 2003 and 2007.

Kabonero’s alleged defamation case relates to a 2003 lawsuit filed by the then prosecutor general Gerald Gahima, in which the latter also sought compensation from the defendant.

The other case was filed by city businessman Tilbert Rujugiro about two months ago against both Kabonero and Gasana, over a story concerning the former’s alleged tax evasion in South Africa.

However, Prosecution Spokesman, Bosco Mutangana, said that the institution had written to the court indicating that it was no longer interested in pursuing the two cases, although the plaintiffs retained their right to continue with the cases without the prosecution on their side.

“The Prosecution has the right to prefer or not to prefer charges against anyone, and in this case we have decided not to prefer the charges. However, the party that feels it was prejudiced, has a right to go on with the case,” he said.
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