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Prosecution takes over Rusesabagina case

The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) has received the case file of terror suspect Paul Rusesabagina from the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB).

Rusesabagina himself was spotted at the NPPA offices in Kimihurura, Kigali around the same time RIB handed over the file.

 

He was flanked by his lawyers Emeline Nyembo and David Rugaza.

 

Prosecution has five days to produce the suspect before the court, according to Rwandan laws of criminal procedure.

 

RIB paraded Rusesabagina before the media last week saying his arrest was the result of an international arrest warrant issued two years ago.

He faces several counts, including terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder, RIB Spokesperson Thierry Murangira told journalists last week.

He said the 66-year-old was involved in attacks that killed unarmed innocent civilians, including the one launched in June 2018 in Nyabimata, Nyaruguru District, and another in December 2018 in Nyungwe, Nyamagabe District.

The attacks were carried out by FLN militia, the militant wing of MRCD political alliance led by Rusesabagina. 

Rusesabagina would later appear bragging about the attacks – as did several other MRCD/FLN leaders – saying the objective was to oust the current government.

Prior to his arrest Rusesabagina was living in the United States, while he also has Belgian citizenship.

Speaking to The New Times on Tuesday, one of his lawyers, David Rugaza, said he and his colleague had the opportunity to speak to their client.

He was also facilitated to talk to his family, he said, adding that the suspect was in good health.

“I have been meeting him whenever he calls for me, including today (Tuesday) when we were together until the evening, and he has been allowed to speak to his family – his wife and the children,” Rugaza said.

Rugaza said they had filed an application for Rusesabagina’s bond.

Rusesabagina picked the two lawyers himself from a list provided by Rwanda Bar Association.

The attorneys are working on pro bono basis, Rugaza said.

jbizimungu@newtimesrwanda.com

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