• Erlinder’s bail strictly on medical grounds
KIGALI - The trial for Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire, the leader of the yet-to-be registered political party, FDU-Inkingi, will largely depend on cooperation from countries where Ingabire and the terrorist group; Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) conducted activities.
According to Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga Ingabire should not demand for a speedy trial because investigations into her case are still continuing in several countries.
Ngoga, who was speaking at a news conference yesterday, revealed that the prosecution has written, seeking information, to a number of countries where Ingabire networked with FDLR. They include Holland, United States, Belgium, Switzerland, DR Congo and Burundi.
He pointed out that while a number of them had passed on evidence, others are yet to do so and this will determine how the trial goes.
“It’s a process---and for the trial to begin, it is not a choice of the accused, but a decision of the prosecution. It is time to end these allegations that we are taking long to block her from contesting in the presidential polls,” Ngoga said.
“If these countries send us the information tomorrow, then we can start the case tomorrow, if it takes longer, we will wait, but from the feedback we have received, we are sure all information will trickle in.”
He noted that a number of countries including Burundi and DR Congo have fully provided the information requested, while Holland and Belgium have also forwarded a major part, but the US and Switzerland are yet to respond.
Ngoga said that once all the countries revert back to the request and the evidence is in place, Ingabire and “many others” she is co-accused with, will appear in court. Ingabire is currently on bail but cannot leave the country.
“The funding of FDLR was done in several capitals in Africa and Europe and it is an international obligation for all these countries to cooperate with us and provide evidence,” he said.
Ngoga said the government is confident in its case and there is strong evidence to back up the charges and that the plan is not to frustrate Ingabire’s presidential ambitions.
He said that some countries are slow in providing information despite prosecution providing the names of the people and their activities in those particular countries.
“Erlinder’s bail not political”
The Prosecutor also dismissed allegations that Prof. Peter Erlinder, the American lawyer who was arrested for denying and trivialising the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, was released on bail because of political pressure from the US.
He said that the American professor was released strictly on medical grounds.
“He was released on bail based on medical documents sent by his doctors from a known reputable clinic in the US and endorsed by Secretary of State. They were sent for court purpose and not for political reasons,” he explained.
He refuted claims that US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton imposed political pressure on Rwanda
“The Secretary of State made no political comment when she sent them. The documents had among other things evidence of mental instability. In his pleading, Erlinder told Court that he authored some of his denial documents during his moments of mental instability, and that whatever he is saying today could be a result of that mental situation.
“In any event, he remains charged and our justice system will — independently and according to the law — determine the fate of the case. We continue to view denial of Genocide as a potential threat that we will spare no effort to deal with,” Ngoga threatened.