KIGALI - The Military High Court (MHC) sitting at Kanombe yesterday once again turned down the bail appeal of of Lt. Col. Ngabo Rugigana and ruled that his provisional detention be extended by 30 days.
After several adjournments of the bail ruling this month, a panel of Military Judges led by Maj. Bernard Ndayisaba, upheld the request of the prosecution to extend Rugigana’s provisional detention to allow investigations to continue.
“After thoroughly examining the case of both the prosecution and the lawyers of the accused, as provided by the law, court can decide to extend the provisional detention of the accused if it deems it necessary,”
“The Military High Court decided to consider the application by the military prosecution submitted on June 22, giving reasons why Lt. Col Ngabo Rugigana should not be accorded bail considering how his release could jeopardise investigations,” Ndayisaba ruled.
He further noted that Rugigana is facing serious criminal charges, which, according to the law, the accused can be denied bail.
Military prosecutors said that if released, he could escape and jeopardise investigations into his case.
Rugigana's lawyers had applied for his release as investigations continue. they had, in the bail application, said that he has a known address and family which would guarantee his availability when needed, but court rejected his argument.
Maj. Ndayisaba, said the MHC accepted the prosecution's request for extended detention “because it was presented in a manner and time that respects the law,” adding that such a request can be made several times when the period for provisional detention elapses and the case has not yet gone into substance.
“The Military High Court dully accepts the request of the prosecution. It has ruled that 30 days be added to the provisional detention, the counting of which starts from June 23,” Judge Ndayisaba ruled.
Looking healthy and flanked by two family members, Rugigana, fully dressed in army uniform, listened carefully as the bail verdict was being read.
A former head of the Engineering Regiment in the Rwanda Defense Forces, Lt Col Rugigana is accused of threatening national security.
His brother Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, is a dissident who was last year convicted and sentenced to 24 years in prison for allegedly forming a terrorist group, threatening state security, undermining public order, promoting ethnic divisions and insulting the person of the President.
Military prosecutors have told court that Kayumba, whose terror network has since been exposed, used Rugigana to rally demobilised soldiers as well as civilians with the aim of forming a subversive militia group.
Six people with links to the fugitive General and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwandan (FDLR) militia, were arrested by security agencies earlier this month.