KACYIRU - The Kacyiru Court of Lower Instance will on September, 3, rule on whether the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marie Claire Mukasine, the Director of Finance Alexis Karani and Jean Marie Vianney Makombe should be produced in court.
The above officials are said to be party to a case involving former provincial official, Charles Gasana and Vincent Gatwabuyege, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Last Thursday, Kacyiru Court President, Claudine Nyiramikenke directed that the officials be produced in court to answer their alleged role in the Rwamagana tender scam.
But the prosecution still insists that the officials cannot be taken to court because the case against them is so weak and can not be sustained.
Since yesterday morning, the court experienced a standoff between the prosecution and the defence lawyers.
The prosecution told court yesterday that basing on investigations, Mukasine, Karani and Makombe never intentionally committed the crime.
“We have found out that these people had no intention to steal state funds. Mistakes could have been committed but not intentionally,” Prosecutor, Boniface Budengeri said.
But this irked the defence lawyers who argued that since Mukasine and the rest had been interrogated as suspects, they must appear in court.
“It’s the work of the court to determine whether someone is guilty or not. It’s not the prosecution,” Francois Rwangampuhwe argued.
“Having heard arguments from both sides, this court will determine whether Mukasine, Karani or Makombe should appear in court on September 3, 2009,” Nyiramikenke announced to the expectant crowd that had braved the day’s heat.
Gasana and Gatwabuyege’s lawyers had earlier argued that if the prosecution had no interest in prosecuting Mukasine and the rest, their clients should also be exonerated or at least be given bail and report to court from their homes like their co-accused.
When the judge gave the floor to Gasana, Gatwabuyege, Alexis Mugarura and Eliab Munyemana, they all requested for bail, arguing that all the people should be treated equally.
Gasana said that there is no evidence to show that he committed a bigger crime than his co-accused, who are not in detention.
“This court should not apply justice selectively. Our clients are here because it’s alleged they committed a crime together with people like Mukasine,” Athanase Rutabingwa said.
Gatwabuyege and Gasana are charged with awarding EMA a construction company owned by Mugarura, a multi-billion tender in 2007 to construct the headquarters of Eastern Province without following standing procedures.
It is alleged that the tender, which was initially worth Rwf 1.7bn was later amended twice at the request of businessman Mugarura, contrary to the standard tendering procedures.