JUDICIARY - The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing for the appeal of the expelled former Members of Parliament from the Liberal Party (PL) after the defendants asked for more time to prepare their defense.
“They asked for time and the trial was put off until October 25 so that the can prepare themselves for the trial,” Floribert Karuranga, one of the lawyers to sacked former MPs Elie Ngirabakunzi and Isaie Murashi, said.
Asked whether they have any objection to the decision, the attorney said that they comfortable and are waiting for the trial day.
“We believe in a rule of law and our opponents need to have time to prepare their defense so we are not complaining,” Karuranga said.
The embattled former lawmakers were replaced in the Chamber of Deputies by Francois Udahemuka and Charles Kamanda who were sworn in last Friday.
Ngirabakunzi and Murashi are appealing against a High Court ruling which dismissed the injunction they had filed to block their replacement pending a verdict of the trial in substance expected to start tomorrow at the High Court Chambers. Meanwhile, Karuranga said that they are still prepared to start main trial tomorrow despite the fact that their clients cannot repossess their seats in parliament.
The trial will decide the whether the sacking of the two MPs and three other members; Dr Laurien Nyabyenda (president for the Southern Province), Emmanuel Uwimana (first vice president for Western Province) and Emmanuel Musabyimana, their expulsion from the party was legal.
The decision to sack them from the party came after they accused PL president Protais Mitali, party first vice president Senator Odette Nyiramirimo and others, of rigging the hotly contested August 5 party elections.
Those accused dismissed the claims, and instead claimed that the five were attempting to split the party for personal benefits.