High Court yesterday heard an appeal case involving Dr Rose Mukankomeje, the Director-General of Rwanda Environmental Management Authority, a few days after she was remanded by a lower court.
The accused appeared in court with her lawyer, Tharcisse Udahemuka, and they contested the evidence previously submitted by the prosecution, saying it lacked facts.
“The court validated and approved exhibits from the prosecution without sufficient proof, the court should have ignored it and or demanded more clarity,” argued Udahemuka, praying to court to release his client.
The lawyer further stated that court failed to interpret his client’s defence statement, especially on her third count relating to article 660 of the Penal Code, which is about tarnishing the image of the country and government as a leader.
Mukankomeje was arrested on March 20 in connection with a corruption case involving two former leaders in Rutsiro District who have been in custody since last year.
She is specifically accused of tipping off a potential accomplice for the two Rutsiro leaders, whom she called to tell that he was being sought, and, according to prosecution, the man heeded her advice and has since fled.
Challenging the submission from the defence yesterday, prosecution stated that it was too early to provide all the evidence in a case that is still at procedural level, adding that they will produce everything once the trial goes into substance.
Speaking shortly after the appeal, the prosecution spokesperson, Faustin Nkusi told The New Times that defence wanted to hasten court to deliberate a criminal case that was still under investigation.
“The lawyer can’t be asking for detailed evidence at this level; the focus at this level was to assure court that there were serious grounds for a case which we indicated and was determined,” he said.
Mukankomeje is accused of three counts: destruction of evidence, breach of professional secrecy, and tarnishing the image of state institutions.