Ingabire’s links to FDLR revealed as trial resumes

The National Public Prosecuting Authority (NPPA), yesterday, disclosed Victoire Ingabire’s links to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a terrorist group made up of forces responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, as the trial resumed. The FDLR is also accused of war crimes and mass rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Ingabire, along with four co-accused, are charged with supporting a terrorist group, planning to cause state insecurity and divisionism.
 ( L-R) Lain Edwards, Ingabire Victoire (in the rear) and Gatera Gashabana in court yesterday.The New Times /Timothy Kisambira
( L-R) Lain Edwards, Ingabire Victoire (in the rear) and Gatera Gashabana in court yesterday.The New Times /Timothy Kisambira

The National Public Prosecuting Authority (NPPA), yesterday, disclosed Victoire Ingabire’s links to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a terrorist group made up of forces responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, as the trial resumed.

The FDLR is also accused of war crimes and mass rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ingabire, along with four co-accused, are charged with supporting a terrorist group, planning to cause state insecurity and divisionism.

Her co-accused are Colonel Tharcisse Nditurende, Lt Colonel Noeli Habiyaremye, Major Vital Uwumuremyi and Lieutenant Jean Marie Karuta

Court heard that the documents found during a search of Ingabire’s residence in Zevenhuizen, Netherlands, by the Dutch prosecuting authority, working with the National Public Prosecutions Authority (NPPA), included a written statement by Speciose Mujawayezu, an aide to Ingabire, where she confesses to sending money at the request of Victoire Ingabire to Vital Uwumuremyi.

Uwumuremyi, an FDLR Major has already pleaded guilty.

According to Prosecution, also discovered in Ingabire’s house were minutes of a meeting held in Brussels on February 24, that detail the decision she made with the FDLR leadership to establish a military organisation to topple the Government of Rwanda.

However, efforts, by Prosecution, to have the documents produced before court, as evidence, have been frustrated.

A Dutch lower court on May 31, 2011, ruled against the transfer to Rwanda, the files and documents seized in Ingabire’s home in the Netherlands, upon intervention by her family.

The decision is currently under appeal in the Dutch Supreme Court.  

While Prosecution had requested court to adjourn the case until the Dutch Supreme Court pronounces itself on the appeal, the judge declined and ordered the case to proceed.

However, progress was cut short, yesterday, after the translator for one of the defence lawyers, Lain Edwards - a British lawyer - was deemed incompetent.

“I think we have to get all statements right through the translator because they have an impact on the whole case,” said prosecutor Bonaventure Ruberwa, after numerous attempts to repeat his statements so that the translator could get them right.

The statement by the prosecutor led to the translator’s immediate resignation

At this point, Ingabire and her defence team expressed the wish to have the trial proceed as an alternative translator was sought, since the trial had commenced with three of Ingabire’s co-accused.

However, Prosecution insisted that the translation should apply to all the defendants since the cases are connected. After consultations, the panel of judges, led by Alice Rulisa, decided to adjourn the trial, which has been postponed twice this year.

The case resumes on Wednesday with the High Court promising to get a professional simultaneous translator.

Ends

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