Court rejects fresh charges against businessman Nkubiri, grants bail to co-accused

Kacyiru Primary Court yesterday rejected prosecution’s plea to remand Alfred Nkubiri, Rwanda’s biggest agro-business dealer, for 30 days over fresh charges, while it gave bail to his co-accused, Innocent Habimana. The duo had appeared on Monday to face charges of uttering forged documents and challenged submissions from the prosecution.

Kacyiru Primary Court yesterday rejected prosecution’s plea to remand Alfred Nkubiri, Rwanda’s biggest agro-business dealer, for 30 days over fresh charges, while it gave bail to his co-accused, Innocent Habimana.

The duo had appeared on Monday to face charges of uttering forged documents and challenged submissions from the prosecution.

The alleged documents which, according to the prosecution, were signed by both Nkubiri and Harerimana, were related to volumes of fertilisers supplied to farmers across the country, which were supposed to be used for the second planting season of 2016.

The duo argued that there was no evidence showing that the documents had been forged and that they were only internal memos, and not a final report.

The prosecution had argued that documents showing that 730 metric tonnes of fertilisers were supplied differed with delivery reports.

In a previous appearance, Nkubiri, the owner of ENAS, the company that supplied fertilisers, had said that he should not have been dragged to court in the first place on charges he was unaware of since he was not interrogated by both investigators and the prosecution.

Harerimana, on his side, stated that he signed the papers in question in his capacity as a manager because a team of his subordinates had compiled the reports, hence dismissing allegations of forging the documents.

Delivering the verdict on the bail hearing yesterday, the presiding judge of Kacyiru Primary Court stated that the fresh charges against both Nkubiri and Harerimana were null and void since there was no evidence.

“Having taken into accounts submissions from all the parties, the court found no reasons whatsoever implicating Alfred Nkubiri on the charges of forgery.”

“The court further sees no evidence implicating Innocent Harerimana as the actual author of the alleged forged documents, therefore any further investigations into his case should be conducted while he’s not in detention,” ruled the judge.

While Harerimana, who had been detained at Kimironko Police station since August 21, will be set free pending further investigations, Nkubiri will remain on remand on the initial charges; breach of contract and supplying substandard fertilisers. 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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