The high court in Huye District yesterday overturned a sentence meted out against the Director-General of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR), Alphonse Umulisa.
Umulisa was in July sentenced to two years in jail and ordered to pay a fine of Rwf500,000 after a judge at Ngoma Primary Court found him guilty of having hacked into the e-mail of a former employee.
The institute’s former Director of Administration and Finance, Clemence Uwimabera, claimed Umulisa dismissed her from job basing on information he illegally obtained from her e-mail.
Umulisa had not been arrested because he lodged an appeal, which he subsequently won at the Huye Intermediate Court.
The plaintiff was dismissed from the institute mid-last year.
Both Umulisa and Uwimabera had appealed against the verdict, with the latter seeking reparations on top of the conviction.
However, yesterday, Judge Immaculée Uwera ruled in favour of the accused.
“The court finds the accused not guilty,” the clerk pronounced in a brief session. “The court rules that Umulisa is thus acquitted of fraudulently obtaining e-mail data.”
The ruling was read out by the clerk as the judge, who is also the President of the Huye Court, was said to be absent.
The court also ruled that there is no reason to impose damages. The claimant was seeking Rwf3 million in damages.
Umulisa had been on bail since the case was lodged against him.
Both the plaintiff and the accused, along with their lawyers, were not present in court when the verdict was read.