Riviera students convicted for arson appeal to High Court

Three students of Riviera High School on Monday appeared before High Court where they appealed against a decision by the Gasabo Intermediate Court to imprison them for setting one of the school dormitories on fire.

Three students of Riviera High School on Monday appeared before High Court where they appealed against a decision by the Gasabo Intermediate Court to imprison them for setting one of the school dormitories on fire.

The arson incident happened back in June this year.

On conviction, Gasabo Intermediate Court had jailed the trio (names withheld) to varying years of imprisonment where one was handed a two-year jail sentence while the other two were each jailed for one year.

The first suspect had initially pleaded guilty of starting the fire saying that he was conducting an experiment.

The 16-year old gave grounds for his appeal saying that despite being cooperative with prosecution; he still got two years in prison which he says is too much.

During the hearing on Monday, prosecution said that they were not ready for trial, which prompted the judge to adjourn the hearing to December 6.

The incident happened late on the evening of June 18, when the dormitories hosting at least 45 students at Riviera High School in Gasabo district caught fire, but miraculously no one was injured.

A lot of property, especially students’ beddings was lost in arson.

Following police investigation after the incident, 11 students were arrested but a number of them couldn’t go on trial because they were minors, below 14 years of age.

These were instead sent to a rehabilitation centre.

Article 72 of the penal code says for a convict who is 14 years and above but below 18, where sentencing is necessary, they can only get half the punishment prescribed for the particular offense.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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