Musanze terror suspects denied bail

Musanze High Court yesterday denied bail to 15 suspects accused of being behind a spate of attacks in Musanze District and having links with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels.

Musanze High Court yesterday denied bail to 15 suspects accused of being behind a spate of attacks in Musanze District and having links with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels.

FDLR is a militia operating in eastern DR Congo whose members include remnants of former Rwandan army (ex-FAR) and Interahamwe militia largely responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The suspects, including three women, were arraigned in court Tuesday, where they were charged with several counts, including terrorism that left two dead and eight injured.

Judge Isabelle Iribagiza said court had found that granting the suspects bail would cause insecurity in the country and remanded them for 30 days as investigations continue.

"Remanding them is the only way they can't escape justice, given the gravity of their crimes and the effect they caused such as deaths, injuries and public insecurity in the area," said Iribagiza.

Court was packed to capacity with people following the proceedings through windows.

The prosecution, led by Gaspard Rudatinya, had preferred charges of murder, treason, transporting of and illegal possession of illegal fire arms, creation of and belonging to a criminal gang and terrorism, among other crimes, against the suspects.  They confessed to the charges.

Rudatinya said two of the female suspects were used to transport weapons from FDLR.

Jotham Nsengiyumva, considered as the prime suspect, on Tuesday confessed to his role in three crimes. He admitted being a member of FDLR and that he was involved in the shooting of a Police officer in December last year.

He added that he was also the one who masterminded two grenade attacks in the area in January; one at the home of Mayor Winifride Mpembyemungu that killed a one-and-a-half-year-old girl and injured two others, and another in Musanze town that injured six.

 

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