Grenade suspects apply for bail in High Court

KIGALI - Close to 30 men suspected to be behind the spate of grenade attacks in the country, yesterday, appealed to the High Court against their provisional detention.This follows a decision by Nyarugenge Intermediate Court to deny them bail, owing to the gravity of their crimes and the fact that they do not have physical addresses.
Grenade attack suspects in court. They have logged their appeal on bail to High Court (File Photo).
Grenade attack suspects in court. They have logged their appeal on bail to High Court (File Photo).

KIGALI - Close to 30 men suspected to be behind the spate of grenade attacks in the country, yesterday, appealed to the High Court against their provisional detention.

This follows a decision by Nyarugenge Intermediate Court to deny them bail, owing to the gravity of their crimes and the fact that they do not have physical addresses.

The men, suspected to be working for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia, with an aim of destabilising the country, challenged the decision of the lower court saying that they had been in detention for long.

The FDLR is a terrorist organisation based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It comprises mainly of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The prosecution, however, argued that the decision by the Nyarugenge Court should be upheld because there is concrete evidence incriminating the accused and most of them pleaded guilty.

Prosecutor Alain Mukurarinda read out case by case, linking each of the suspects to the subversive acts they were involved in before they were arrested.

“Court found the crimes committed by these individuals to be of a serious nature, and that’s what should be maintained. Crimes that involve threatening state security, terrorism and murder, cannot be accorded bail,” Mukurarinda said.

“The argument that these individuals were illegally detained for a long period is baseless because prosecution explained that it took a long time to investigate and unearth the sophisticated and complicated network they were operating under.”

Some of the suspects were involved in smuggling grenades from Burundi and the DRC and later distribute them across the country.

Also among the suspects are some who disguised themselves as motorcycle taxi operators, whose real job was to transport people carrying grenades and help them sneak in and out of the country.

Prosecution identified Jean Berchmans Mukeshimana, Anatole Kayisire, Fazil Kanyarugunda, Gaetan Musafiri and Frodouard Rwandanga as the people who coordinated, distributed and threw the grenades.

Most of the defendants admitted to have had a direct involvement in executing the attacks, while others said they had prior knowledge of the attacks, but weren't directly involved in the execution.

The High Court will pronounce the verdict on Monday, April 4, 2010.

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