Prosecution wants life sentences for Musanze schoolgirl murder

Prosecution on Tuesday asked the Musanze High Court to hand down life sentences for two men suspected of raping and then murdering a primary schoolgirl.
17-year old Siborurema is escorted by Police after the hearing on Tuesday. He is accused of murdering 14-year-old schoolgirl Xaverina Nyirangambi Nikuze. Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti
17-year old Siborurema is escorted by Police after the hearing on Tuesday. He is accused of murdering 14-year-old schoolgirl Xaverina Nyirangambi Nikuze. Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti

Prosecution on Tuesday asked the Musanze High Court to hand down life sentences for two men suspected of raping and then murdering a primary schoolgirl.

The 14-year-old Xaverina Nyirangambi Nikuze, a resident of Nyange Sector in Musanze District, was identified as the victim.

The two suspects, 20-year old Theogene Munyaneza and a 17-year old male identified Siborurema, were also residents of Nyange Sector.

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Hundreds of residents are following the trial taking place at Nyange grounds, Musanze District. Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti

The case, which is taking place at the Nyange Sector grounds, has attracted hundreds of residents.

Prosecutor Gaspard Rudatinya told the Court that the alleged incident occurred on Christmas Eve after the two suspects took Nikuze from area centre and led her to a nearby forest where they raped and then killed her.

Recounting the gruesome details of the case, he told the Court that after raping her, they then used a knife to sever one of her ears and then bludgeoned her to death with stones.

Rudatinya told the Court that the cruelty exhibited by the two suspects aggravated the crime.

He requested the Court hands down a life sentence with special provisions to Munyaneza and a lighter sentence of life in jail to Siborurema on the grounds that he was below 18.

Both suspects admit to the crimes but add that they acted under the influence of alcohol. They asked for lighter sentences on the grounds that they did not complicate investigations by both police and prosecution.

The suspects are said to have been members of a notorious gang that had been terrorizing area residents.

Presiding judge, Isabelle Risiki,  will hand down her verdict on 20, January.

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Mourners at the burial of Nikuze in Musanze.Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti

Speciose, Nyirabikari, the mother to the deceased, wants the Court to hand down the stiffest sentence possible.

“A life sentence is not enough for me but death punishment is not allowed in Rwanda. The court will decide on the punishment but I don’t think the two should ever be free men again,” said an angry mother.

jmbonyinshuti@newtimes.co.rw

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