High court hears Ingabire’s appeal

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the embattled leader of the yet-to-be-registered political party, FDU-Inkingi, yesterday, appealed, in the High Court, the decision by Gasabo Intermediate Court to extend her provisional detention by 30 more days.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the embattled leader of the yet-to-be-registered political party, FDU-Inkingi, yesterday, appealed, in the High Court, the decision by Gasabo Intermediate Court to extend her provisional detention by 30 more days.

On November 25, the Gasabo court extended the detention of Ingabire, on the request of prosecution, to enable foreign countries and partners in the case, to act on the formal requests for legal assistance to prosecution.

Appearing before the high court Judge, Jean Marie Vianney Nzamuye, Ingabire, asked court to reinstate the decision by the Gasabo Court in April 2010 to release her on bail.

In a vocal court proceeding yesterday, Ingabire claimed that prosecution does not seem to be ready with all the evidence needed to allow the case to go into substance and she should, therefore, be out of detention as investigations continue.

However, the Prosecutor, Bonaventure Ruberwa accused Ingabire of trying to “bully” prosecution to rush through the case.

“The law allows us the right to ask court to extend provisional detention of a person facing serious criminal offences, up to 12 times, if we have reasons to justify that. In this case, we explained how we asked some countries where these criminal activities took place to forward us information that we will use in the case,” Ruberwa said.

“To say that we lack evidence is undermining the public institution and evidence that Ingabire wants to exert pressure on the prosecution to rush through the case. Some cases can take even longer than hers. She feels her case is special, which is not the case.”

The Prosecutor, further accused Ingabire of trying to “politicise” the case and ignoring the strong evidence implicating her, including credible witnesses.

The Prosecution revealed that the Governments of the Netherlands and Switzerland have responded to formal requests and have agreed to provide the prosecution with additional information but many more countries are yet to submit information.

After being arrested on October 14, Ingabire applied for bail which was denied and has been serving the 30-day detention pending her trial, but prosecution insists that there is more evidence expected yet from Europe.

Prosecution revealed that Ingabire wired money, through Western Union, to members of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a well documented terrorist group.  She is also charged with working and forming a terrorist organisation to threaten state security.

Ingabire is charged alongside Major Vital Uwumuremyi, who was arrested after he was caught fleeing the country, heading to the DR Congo. He is suspected of setting up a rebel group, the Coalition of Democratic Forces (CDF). Uwumuremyi has since admitted the charges.

The Judge also heard that since her arrest, fresh witnesses and new evidence have been discovered.

Police found a bunker in her garden, and Absolom Nvuyekure, who allegedly dug the trench, revealed its purpose to prosecution.

Ingabire insists that the trench was for sewage collection but the Prosecutor argued that the purpose of the trench will be revealed when the case goes for trial.

The judge set the ruling date for Friday, December 17.

Ends

 

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