Prosecution to freeze Kabuga property returned to family by Karegyeya

KIGALI - The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), has announced immediate plans to re-freeze Félicien Kabuga’s property and bank accounts, that were fraudulently returned to the family, by fugitive Patrick Karegyeya, when he was still the director of External Security organization.
l-r : Félicien Kabuga; Patrick Karegyeya
l-r : Félicien Kabuga; Patrick Karegyeya

KIGALI - The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), has announced immediate plans to re-freeze Félicien Kabuga’s property and bank accounts, that were fraudulently returned to the family, by fugitive Patrick Karegyeya, when he was still the director of External Security organization.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Bernard Alain Mukurarinda the Spokesman of National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) said that Felicien Kabuga’s Property and bank accounts remain officially and legally frozen.

“It is embarrassing that some of the property were returned without the knowledge of NPPA. We shall take steps to freeze the assets as soon as possible,” he said.
Mukurarinda added that, Rwanda as the major stakeholder in the international efforts to track down Kabuga, cannot be the one undermining those efforts.

“It was blatant abuse of authority that we need to redress quickly and those involved in tracking down fugitive, Kabuga,  must have questions to ask Karegyeya, besides this was out of his area of competence,” he stressed.
He added that Karegyeya acted ultra-vires and infringed on the attribution of the prosecution authority.

Two of Kabuga’s children, Donatien Nshimyumuremyi alias Nshima and Seraphine Uwimana visited Rwanda between October and December 2003 and the motive behind the visit was to regain rights to family property.

At the time, under the directive of Karegyeya, Janvier Mabuye, an officer of External Security accredited to the Rwanda Embassy in Belgium gave powers of attorney (Procuration) to both Kabuga’s children.

“The Procuration given to Nshimyumuremyi was signed by Josephine Mukazitoni, Kabuga’s wife, whereas the one given to Seraphine Uwimana was signed by Felicite Mukademali, one of Kabuga’s daughters,” reads part of the document obtained by The New Times.

Greatly facilitated by Karegyeya‘s direct intervention, they managed to regain rights to some of the property which include the building next to City Plaza in downtown Kigali, and the building that houses Banque Populaire Muhima branch.

The two buildings are in Kabuga’s names and the lease agreements were signed between tenants of these buildings and Donatien Nshimyumuremyi and the latter opened an account with BCDI, now Ecobank through which the rent was paid.

According to the report, while in Kigali, the two stayed at the Mille Collines and invoice no. 105620 was forwarded to National Security Service (NSS) External Security Organisation (ESO) for payment.

The payment was effected from the NSS-ESO account by cheque number 438099 dated February 25, 2004 and signed by Patrick Karegyeya.

They also stayed at Hotel Gorillas and the payment of the invoice was effected from NSS, ESO account by cheque number 466952 dated 25th February 2004 and signed by Karegyeya.

Karegyeya, who is exiled in South Africa, is among the fugitives wanted in Rwanda for creation of a terrorist group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and a spate of grenade attacks in Kigali City.

He was recently sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Kabuga was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1998 as one of the architects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The United States has since put a $5 million bounty on his head.

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