Rwigaras bail hearing finally begins

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Monday begun pre-trial hearings for three members of the Rwigara family. The hearing had been postponed on four different occasions.

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Monday begun pre-trial hearings for three members of the Rwigara family.

The hearing had been postponed on four different occasions.

Mrs. Adeline Rwigara and her two daughters Anne and Diane Rwigara are jointly facing charges related to inciting insurrection.

Diane faces separate forgery charges and her mother divisionism and discrimination charges.

Before the proceedings could begin, the defendants’ lawyers Gatera Gashabana and Pierre-Célestin Buhuru argued that the case should not be heard at Nyamirambo based as it was outside the area of jurisdiction.

The lawyers cited a law that requires defendants to be tried in a court closest to where they were arrested. They then requested their release.

After consultation the panel of judges concluded that it was within their jurisdiction to the try the Rwigaras, and ordered the proceedings to go on.

As part of evidence pinning the Rwigaras, the prosecution presented Whatsapp audio files some of which were heard by the court.

The court also heard that due to security reasons some audios should be played in camera and some witness names not disclosed

A series of 12 audios were then played in open court.

The court heard that some of the people involved in the conversations are wanted by the prosecution as part of investigations into the case.

They cited Thabitha Gwiza Mugenzi believed to be in Canada, Xaverine Mukangarambe and Jean Paul Tuyishimire in the US and a one Edmond Mushayija who said to be in Belgium.

Prosecution says that in their conversations with the Rwigaras mainly Adeline; they propagated hate and intended to incite public insurrection.

In regards to the forgery-related charges faced by Diane, the court heard that the suspect, during the August Presidential elections, forged signatures in an attempt to meet the nomination criteria required the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

Prosecution told court they have interrogated more than 70 people who denied lending their signatures in support of her candidacy.

Diane is also alleged to have included dead people among her signatories.

The defendants denied all charges.

After a nearly eight hour court session, the presiding judge adjourned the Court to Wednesday.

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