Mushayidi gets life sentence

KIGALI - THE High Court yesterday handed Deogratias Mushayidi a life sentence after finding him guilty of causing state insecurity, inciting the population to hate the government and using forged documents.
SENTENCED TO LIFE; Deo Mushayidi (R) appearing before court recently (File photo)
SENTENCED TO LIFE; Deo Mushayidi (R) appearing before court recently (File photo)

KIGALI - THE High Court yesterday handed Deogratias Mushayidi a life sentence after finding him guilty of causing state insecurity, inciting the population to hate the government and using forged documents.

Court ruled that the prosecution had presented enough evidence. Mushayidi, 50, was also ordered to pay Rwf 73,150. Prosecution had asked court last month to serve Mushayidi with three separate sentences, including two life sentences and 50 years in prison.

The prosecution, however, failed to prove that Mushayidi worked with the DR Congo-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia. He was also cleared of promoting Genocide revisionism, genocide ideology and divisionism.

The FDLR is a blacklisted terrorist group largely made up of remnants of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe militia responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
One of Mushayidi’s defence lawyers, Christopher Twagirayezu, contested the ruling and said his client would appeal.

“I am happy that some charges have been dropped but we have to go to Supreme Court to challenge the verdict,” Twagirayezu said. 

The Prosecution, represented by Bonaventure Ruberwa had, during the trial, tabled several documents that implicated Mushayidi in creating an armed group to violently overthrow the government.

His former colleague, Samuel Nsengiyumva who lived with him in Karagwe, Tanzania, also testified during the trial that the accused had worked closely with armed groups that were preparing to attack Rwanda.

Mushayidi had himself admitted to using false documents, saying that he was carrying a Burundian passport because he never wanted to be detected.

Mushayidi was arrested in Burundi and subsequently extradited to Rwanda on March 5, 2010. Before his arrest, he is said to have crisscrossed the region for months in a bid to set up a network for his armed group, PDP-Imanzi.

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