Supreme Court resumes trial of Lt Col Rugigana

On Monday, the appeal case of convicted military officer Lt Col Rugigana Ngabo resumed in the Supreme Court as judges ruled for the hearing to continue in camera, granting the request earlier made by military prosecution.

The former head of the Engineering Regiment in the Rwanda Defence Force is accused by military prosecution of threatening national security and was sentenced to nine years in jail by the Military High Court in July 2012.

Both prosecution and the defendant have challenged the military court’s decision at the Supreme Court.

Before the hearing could begin, the accused, wearing RDF fatigue said that he has an illness that has impaired his hearing and requested the judges and the prosecutor to speak louder for him to be able to follow the proceedings.

Rugigana and his lawyer, Godfrey Butare, had in March this year sought for more time to prepare their defence in Supreme Court.

Prosecution, represented by Captain Faustin Nzakamwita, raised a concern saying that due to the details on national security that are likely to come up during trial, the hearings should continue in camera.

Rugigana is also accused of working with terror groups that want to destabilise the country.

Butare and his client had earlier argued that the lawsuit had been going on for many years now and should not be held in camera at this point.

After 20 minutes of deliberation by the judges, the presiding judge ruled that the rest of the hearing should continue in camera.


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