The Muhanga Intermediate Court on Thursday denied bail to four suspects accused of involvement in the murder of six family members in Byimana Sector, Ruhango District earlier this month.
Among them is Steven Baribwirumuhungu, the prime suspect in the gruesome murder who has pleaded guilty.
Others are Tito Mugemanyi and Levine Uwayisenga, two brothers from Ruhango whose blood-soaked clothes were recovered at the scene of crime, and Leonidas Simbarubusa, a resident of Ngororero District, who stands accused of sheltering Babwirumuhungu despite knowing that he had escaped from prison where he had been serving a 20-year sentence for another murder and helping him to change names in a bid to evade justice.
On Tuesday, the suspects appeared before Muhanga Intermediate Court for the first time. Apart from Baribwirumuhungu, others had asked the judge to release them on bail.
But the judge on Thursday afternoon ruled that releasing the suspects could compromise ongoing investigations.
The judge also noted that the suspects are accused of serious crimes and releasing them would be a risky move. He remanded the quartet for 30 days.
After the court’s decision was announced, three suspects ( with the exception of Baribwirumuhungu) told court they would appeal.
Earlier on Tuesday, the court had heard a detailed account of how a mother and her five children were murdered in cold blood in an incident that shocked the nation.
The bodies of Josephine Kankesha, in mid-40s, and her five children – three boys and two girls aged between four and 17 years– were found on the morning of Saturday, August 2, with deep cuts. Investigations revealed they were killed days ealier.
Baribwirumuhungu, who has pleaded guilty to murdering the family, told court he killed them after he became suspicious that they might inform the police about his escape from prison.
He also alleged that the deceased mother had refused to pay him Rwf200, 000 she owed him.
He said he killed them using a machete and a club in less than 30 minutes. He maintains that he acted alone.