Four plead guilty to terrorism

Four people appeared before the Kacyiru Primary Court yesterday in connection with a plot to violently overthrow the government and take part in terrorist attacks.
Mihigo gets out of the Police car on his arrival at Kacyiru Primary Court yesterday.Timothy Kisambira.
Mihigo gets out of the Police car on his arrival at Kacyiru Primary Court yesterday.Timothy Kisambira.

Four people appeared before the Kacyiru Primary Court yesterday in connection with a plot to violently overthrow the government and take part in terrorist attacks.

Kizito Mihigo, Cassien Ntamuhanga, Jean Paul Dukuzumuremyi and Agnes Niyibiza were jointly charged with “offence against the established government or the President of the Republic, conspiracy against the established Government or the President of the Republic, and complicity in a terrorist act.”

Mihigo, who was also charged with conspiring to murder and to commit treason, pleaded guilty to all the charges while the other three pleaded guilty to some charges and not guilty to others.

The defendants requested the presiding judge, Jean Damascene Gasana, to postpone the hearing to allow them more time to find lawyers.

“Yes I am guilty but I wish not to stand trial now since I do not have a lawyer. My lawyer, Charles Gakuba Shema, decided to withdraw from the case a few hours before we came to court. I need one week to find another lawyer,” Mihigo said.

Dukuzumuremyi, Niyibizi, Ntamuhanga also asked the court for three days to seek legal representation.

Prosecutor Boniface Budegeri told the court that: “It is a constitutional right for a suspect to appear in court with a lawyer and court should accord them little time since it’s a procedural trial.”

Judge Gasana adjourned the trial to Thursday, April, 24, saying that, “I hope you would have got lawyers by then.”

The four were arrested mid April following an investigation that linked them to a terror network comprising the FDLR (a terrorist group based in eastern DR Congo) and Rwandan fugitives based in South Africa that was responsible for a spate of grenade attacks in the country a couple of years ago.

In a news conference last week, Rwanda National Police said that part of the terror plot that the four suspects were involved in, included planting grenades at key buildings in the capital and assassinating top political figures.

 

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