High Court rejects bail appeal by suspect in city pastor murder case

The High Court in Kigali has rejected an appeal for bail by Drake Mugisha, the estranged husband of Pastor Maggie Mutesi, who was found dead in her home on September 10.
Mugisha (R) and his lawyer Jean De Deiu Murinzi during one of the hearing sessions. Net.
Mugisha (R) and his lawyer Jean De Deiu Murinzi during one of the hearing sessions. Net.

The High Court in Kigali has rejected an appeal for bail by Drake Mugisha, the estranged husband of Pastor Maggie Mutesi, who was found dead in her home on September 10.

Mugisha is charged with the murder of his wife. He was arrested a few days after an autopsy report revealed that Mutesi had succumbed to strangulation and not of natural cause as the suspect, who was with her at home when she died, claimed.

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court in Nyamirambo had last month sent Mugisha to a 30-day remand, a decision he challenged at the High Court.

On appeal, Mugisha asked to be released on bail, saying there was no prima facie case against him.

He claimed that the autopsy was not satisfactorily done and that there were no fingerprints taken from the alleged crime scene to link him to the murder.

Mugisha, a retired army captain, had also hinted that the report was not accurate and could have been done to frame him.

Among other reasons, he told the court that he needed to be set free so that he could take care of his children whom he said were not in school.

During the ruling, the presiding judge told Mugisha that he will have to attend the rest of his trial while coming from jail considering the magnitude of the case.

Among these, the judge cited the autopsy report that is accompanied by an affidavit by the pathologist who conducted it.

The judge said the poor relationship between the couple is also not subject to doubt since it is backed by information from their neighbours as well as relations of the deceased wife.

“All these give us strong reason to believe the suspect is linked to the murder of his wife,” the judge said.

Mutesi was known for leading monthly prayer meetings at Kigali Serena Hotel. She was the founder and leader of Heavens Gates Ministries, a Kigali-based Christian ministry. She died at 37 years.

Mugisha, 45, retired early this year from Rwanda Defence Forces.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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