Prosecution accuses Rwigara duo of playing delaying antics

Diane Rwigara and Adeline Mukamugemanyi-Rwigara with their lawyers at High Court on Tuesday. / Courtesy

Prosecutors have accused Diane Rwigara and Adeline Mukamugemanyi Rwigara, of working with their lawyers to deliberately delay their case, appealing to court to ensure the case starts in its substance as soon as possible, in the interest of justice.

The appeal was made at High Court on Tuesday, following an abrupt application by the duo for bail, despite the fact that the two parties were meant to appear for the case to start in substance.

Rwigara and her mother Mukamugemanyi already lost the bid for provisional release at a lower court, a decision that was upheld by the High Court, which affirmed their continued remand.

However, immediately after court held for the case to resume in its substance, the two suspects made a fresh bid for bail, claiming that reasons presented by prosecution to motivate their remand no longer existed.

The suspects, who are represented by lawyers Gatera Gashabana and Pierre-Celestin Buhuru, said that there was no need to keep them in custody because prosecution had already adduced all evidence they needed.

After stating on court record their concern over the persistent delays of the trial by the accused, objected to the request by the defence team, saying that they were still capable of interfering with the process once set free.

The other reason advanced to support their position was that the defendants could not be released while their co-accused are still at large, saying that themselves were capable of fleeing from justice.

Court adjourned the hearing to Friday, during when judges would pronounce themselves on the request by the defendants to be provisionally released.

Four people who are party in the same case include Tabitha Gwiza Mugenzi, a sister to Mukamugemanyi, who is said to reside in Canada while others are Xaverine Mukangarambe and Jean-Paul Turayishimiye who live in the United States and Edmund Musheija who lives in Belgium.

They face a joint charge of inciting insurrection while Diane Rwigara faces an additional charge of forgery, which was discovered by the National Electoral Commission during the evaluation of nominations for the presidential elections held last year.

Diane, who had earlier expressed interest in running for president, is said to have failed to get the required 500 signatures endorsing her nomination and resorted to forging them.

Some of the signatories she presented were later discovered to have been long deceased.

Meanwhile, Mukamugemanyi also faces another separate charge of divisionism and discrimination.

The two were arrested late last year alongside Diane’s sibling, Anne Rwigara who was later granted bail by Nyarugenge Intermediate Court.

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