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Court extends remand for Rusesabagina by 30 days

Rusesabagina interacts with his lawyers. Sam Ngendahimana

The Kicukiro Primary Court on Friday, October 23, remanded terror suspect Paul Rusesabagina for 30 more days, as requested by the prosecution.

Both the prosecution and the suspect were not present in the courtroom, but they, however, attended the ruling online.

 

While submitting the request on Tuesday, the prosecution stressed that there was a lot of progress in their investigations of the case involving Rusesabagina, but added that they still needed more time to put together the file for the suspect and his co-accused.

 

However, Rusesabagina and his lawyers argued that he should be prosecuted while out of custody, noting that the suspect wants to get access to medication, adding that he is innocent because no court has ever convicted him of any crime so far.

 

His lawyers also reiterated that the prosecution did not fully account for the first 30 days of remand, emphasizing that their client should not remain detained.

While announcing the verdict, the judge said that prosecution had reasonable ground to seek extension adding that they clearly accounted for the first days of remand and also showed what remained to be done.

The court also held that though the law gives the suspect the right to be prosecuted while out of custody, the reasons for the request provided by the lawyers and the suspect were not convincing enough.

“Reasons by Rusesabagina that he should be released to get medical attention are invalid. He can still get medication while in custody,” the judge noted.

She added: “Prosecution clearly gave the account of how they used these days including interviewing survivors of the FLN attacks.”

According to the prosecution, the additional 30 days will be used to interview survivors of FLN attacks who are located in Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe and Rusizi, and among others gather additional evidence against the suspect.

Prosecution also said that that they are seeking medical expertise on the bodily injuries some of the victims suffered during the attacks and post mortem reports for those that were killed.

At least nine people were killed during the attacks.

Rusesabagina faces several charges including terrorism, financing terrorism, recruiting child soldiers, kidnapping, arson, and forming terror groups, among others.

Meanwhile, early this month, the prosecution announced that it would merge Rusesabagina’s case with that of 16 suspects, all of whom former fighters for FLN, to have a joint trial.

Making the announcement, Prosecutor General Aimable Havugimana said that they will also request the court to merge at the substantive phase, the case be merged with that of the two former publicists to the outfit whose case is already ongoing.

The duo is Callixte Nsabimana and Herman Nsengimana who are already on trial at the High Court Chamber for International and Cross Border Crimes located in Nyanza District.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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