• Judge’s link to FDLR exposed
Two men considered to be ‘key witnesses’ in a trumped up case by Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles, have made a u-turn and disassociated themselves with the allegations, dealing a heavy blow to the already empty case.
Merelles last year issued indictments against 40 senior RDF officials, formerly members of the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA), for allegedly having played a hand in the killings of Spanish nationals during the liberation struggle.
Reliable information indicate his case was built around four key witnesses; Abby Mugisha alias Makwande, Capt. George Mwesigwa alias Lwakampala, Theogene Murwanashyaka and Faustin Rwahama.
However, George Mwesigwa (Lwakampala) and Abby Mugisha (Makwande) have since defected from the judge’s camp and returned to Uganda to start a new life, sources say.
The two, have been in Spain for the last one year after travelling from Uganda, where they were allegedly ‘recruited” by, Jordi Palou Loverdos, a Spanish lawyer and Judge Merelles’ protégé.
Mwesigwa is a deserter from the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) who, according to sources, had been on an arrest warrant for participating in a ring of robberies around the country.
On the other hand, Mugisha is said to be a Kampala fraudster known for duping people promising them visas to travel and settle in Europe.
According to our sources, the defections have provoked panic in the Merelles camp with the latter, through Loverdos, communicating to the two ‘witnesses’ telling them never to divulge the mission that took them to Spain.
The panic was further incited by reports published in The New Times that linked Spanish ‘charity’ organisations to the FDLR militia causing havoc in eastern DRC.
One of the named organisations, Fundacio S’Oliver, employs Loverdos as its technical advisor.
“Their defection has caused a lot of panic to their Spanish handlers as they have started revealing shocking political manipulations and insider information on how some Spanish individuals and organisations, the FDLR and Rwandan external opposition, have been conspiring to concoct more stories supporting the Spanish case,” the source told The New Times.
The duo’s defection has been attributed to the Merelles’ insistence that they testify against the former RPA officers saying that the missiles used in shooting Habyarimana’s plane were brought into the country from Uganda having been bought from Eastern Europe.
“Convinced that this absolutely never happened, the two witnesses apparently refused to cooperate and this worsened relations between the two and their Spanish handlers,” the source said.
The panic was exposed in an email sent to the witnesses by the lawyer, a copy this newspaper has obtained.
“I send you sensible information published today in The New Times against the cause…maybe you might understand now some complementary occupations and preoccupations that we have, complimentary to your situation,” reads an email sent by Loverdos to the witnesses.
“But still doing best for you…” it adds.
Now Merelles’ remains with two ‘witnesses”, Theogene Murwanashyaka, a known conman who was deported from Ireland on charges of forging travel documents and Faustin Rwahama, a former diplomat in Brussels, who was convicted for embezzling public funds while a government official.
The Spanish judge also counts support from Faustin Ndahayo, vice President of FDU inkingi and the man, sources say, has been playing an intermediary role between this group of witnesses and Judge Merelles.
Efforts to contact Loverdos by email were futile as by press time, he had not responded to the questions electronically sent to him yesterday morning.
Ever since the indictments were issued, different international legal practitioners have persistently dismissed them as being politically motivated, just like those of the French Judge Jean Louis Bruguiere.
The indictments also sparked an outcry, especially from different African leaders, accusing judges especially from Western countries, of using the principle of Universal Jurisdiction to settle their political scores.
In a subsequent African Union meeting, the continent’s Heads of State reached a consensus not to execute the indictments.