KIGALI - Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga, has warned Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire of FDU-Inkingi party, against giving interviews to newspapers, saying the bail terms bar her from doing that.
“She is disregarding the bail conditions and may cause the Prosecution to initiate a process of bail cancellation,” Ngoga told The New Times in an exclusive interview yesterday.
Ingabire is charged with association with a terrorist group, propagating the Genocide Ideology, Revisionism and Ethnic Division.
Ignatius Ssuuna talked at length to the Prosecutor General.
Below are excerpts.
Q: From the day she was granted bail, Ingabire has continued to conduct interviews and write several articles about her arrest. What is your take on this?
A: What the Prosecution has been observing regarding the conduct of Ingabire, who is on bail following charges of terrorism and plotting to cause state insecurity, are pointing at the breach and abuse of bail conditions. This may cause the Prosecution to initiate the process of bail cancellation.
Q: What is exactly the problem?
A: The Prosecution is more specifically concerned with continued posting declarations and newspaper interviews she has been doing. The case against her is not one of robbery in which restraining physical movement would be enough to contain further damage. It is a case of destructive and divisive ideology whose damage does not require physical proximity of the offender.
Q: When will her substantive trial begin?
A: We are keen to start the trial very soon, which will be against her person and her accomplices as well as taking steps to ensure her organization which harbours divisive ideology does not find space in the politics of our country.
We are not dealing with a unique case in a unique situation, we are dealing with a situation other countries have faced before and resolved in the same manner.
Q: Like which country?
A: The Spanish government did this with respect to Batasuna Party. Decision to contain and ban political activities of these political parties have passed the tests of hierarchy of national and continental courts in Europe.
Closeness to ETA in Spain is as dangerous to closeness to FDLR. ETA is listed as a terrorist group by Spain, the European Union and the United States.
Our critics, mostly from the West, must have regard to their own jurisprudence if they do not trust our own. We are engaged in a legal process fully complying and covered by international conventions and judicial jurisprudence.
We have reached out to our foreign counterparts to avail judicial cooperation as we seek to obtain records we consider vital in this case.
In doing so, we rely on international agreements on judicial cooperation and which here also been relied upon by the same countries to seek our cooperation. It’s time for them to reciprocate by extending judicial cooperation we are seeking.
It’s not necessarily an issue of whether we can do without these records; it is an issue of participation by all parties as we were made to understand when these agreements were offered.