KIGALI - Reports from the Netherlands indicate that the Dutch Police cordoned off and searched the houses of Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire in the village of Zevenhuizen, close to Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Monday.
Ingabire, who is currently in detention and awaiting trial for a case related to threatening national security, lived in The Netherlands before she travelled to Rwanda, earlier this year.
According to reports in the Dutch media, 12 officers of the Rotterdam Department of Justice raided Ingabire’s home to search for possible evidence that can be forwarded to Rwanda to assist in the ongoing case
Ingabire’s husband, Lin Muyizere, and the Department of Justice confirmed the development to Dutch Radio, Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
They searched the entire house and a vehicle. Several documents and computer equipment were taken away by police for further investigation.
In case of any relevancy, the equipment and documents will be sent to the prosecutor’s office in Rwanda, reports indicate.
A spokesman for the Rotterdam Department of Justice said the search was conducted under the request of the Rwandan authorities.
According to the Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, it means a lot that the Dutch have lived up to their international obligation. However, considering that the request was submitted in February, there is a possibility that evidence would have been concealed.
“The time lapse could have affected the search, considering, this is a woman (ingabire) who is keen on concealing evidence and removing all the traces,” he said. “Never the less, it is important the search was made.”
Ngoga added that he has happy the Dutch police and court that issued the warrant finally understood the need to cooperate, given the international nature of the crimes.
A second search party was carried out in the Dutch town of Bilthoven.
Dutch prosecutors confiscated material from the houses of the embattled leader of the yet-to-be-registered political party, FDU-Inkingi. A Dutch court is expected to judge whether legal procedures were followed before the material can be sent to Rwanda, the spokesman said.
The ruling may take a few months, he said. Ingabire is currently awaiting a High Court ruling for an appeal she logged against her temporary detention after prosecution requested for the extension of her detention for 30 more days.
Arrested on October 14, Ingabire shortly 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 from Europe and America.
Prosecution revealed that Ingabire wired money, through Western Union, to members of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a terrorist group, to wage war against Rwanda.
She is charged with working and forming a terrorist organisation with aim of threatening state security.