MUHANGA –A Gacaca court has over turned an earlier court decision to exonerate seven people, including a pastor of the Adventist Church in Nyabisindu, Muhanga district, of their genocide charges.
Pastor Pedaie Ntihanabayo, and six others who are accused of killing Eleazar Mpumguje, will have to wait for a new hearing by the Gahogo Gacaca Appeal Court on Thursday, to decide their fate.
They are being held at Gitarama prison. The same court sentenced four other suspects to 19 years for concealing information on the victim’s death.
According to area Gacaca coordinator, Gonzalez Munyakayanza, the National Gacaca jurisdiction directed the retrial out of concerns that there was no sufficient evidence during the previous trial.
“The Gacaca jurisdiction has directed us to retain all those who had been released until an appeal filed by the family of the victim is disposed of,” Munyakayanza said.
“How could court release people who lived with Mpumguje and convict neighbours for concealing information?” Salim Maniraguha, a grandson of convicted suspects wondered.
The verdict attracted more attention after court sentenced witnesses who allegedly concealed information, to 19 years, instead of 3 to 6 months which is the stipulated punishment.