KIGALI - The High Court will, today, begin hearing the case of Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire, the leader of the yet-to-be-registered political party FDU-Inkingi.
Last month, Ingabire, who has been in detention since October last year, requested the High Court to adjourn her case on grounds that she needed more time to study her file with her lawyers.
Ingabire is facing terrorism charges with the prosecution alleging that she was working with senior FDLR militiamen to form a military wing to her unregistered party FDU known as Coalition of Defence Forces (CDF), aimed at destabilising the country.
She is also accused of promoting ethnic divisionism, genocide ideology and trivialising the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“I did not get enough time to study my file,” said Ingabire as she appeared at the High Court, last month, without her lawyers.
Ingabire also said that she needed enough time because some members of her defence team are foreigners, yet the file was prepared in Kinyarwanda and she needed more time to translate it.
Initially, she had asked court to postpone the trial to September 12 but the presiding judge, Angelline Rutazana, declined the request, offering her one month to prepare herself because it would be unfair to her co-accused.
The prosecution team, led by Ildephonse Hitiyaremye, the Deputy Prosecutor General, also requested that the hearing be merged with those of her co-accused since they are connected.
Ingabire’s co-accused are former FDLR commanders; Col. Tharcisse Nditurende, Lt. Colonel Noel Habiyaremye, Lt. Jean Marie Vianney Karuta and Major Vital Uwumuremyi.
They are accused of collaborating with Ingabire to form a military wing known as Coalition of Defence Forces (CDF) with an aim of launching subversive activities aimed at destabilising Rwanda.
Ingabire is represented by a legal team of three, two Britons and Gatera Gashabana, a local lawyer. Ingabire’s defence team, in the past, accused the judiciary of delaying her case but the Prosecution and High Court blamed her for the delay.