As the trial of the president of the unregistered FDU-Inkingi party Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire takes root, the defendant has requested the High Court to remove some of the evidence in the file.
Ingabire made the plea yesterday during a hearing of her defence’s claims of lack of territorial jurisdiction by the court to try some charges against her and on issues of non-retroactivity of the law.
After the response from prosecution on the objections that Ingabire’s defence raised last week, the presiding Judge Alice Rulisa gave Ingabire the floor.
Ingabire affirmed her defence’s demand that court remove two of the three pieces of evidence used against her on the charge of Genocide ideology and divisionism. The evidences in question are declarations that were made by Ingabire in July and October 2000.
According to prosecution, they contain ideas of genocide denial and divisionism as well as sectarianism.
“I want them removed from the file because they were published way back before the 2008 law against it was published,” said Ingabire, speaking about the non-retroactivity of the law. She observed that she is only be obliged to explain the 2010 declarations she made upon her arrival in Rwanda.
“I wrote the declarations myself and I can defend them. But what I want is to see the law being respected,” she said.
“The law was put in place to be obeyed and not to be violated by prosecution,” she reiterated.
The prosecution, in their previous explanations, said that they had included the documents to show Ingabire’s involvement in the politics of genocide negation and divisionism, but would use the latest evidence to charge her.
“Your honour, such evidence will help you to understand the background and the person of Ingabire as far as her genocide denial activities are concerned,” said prosecuting attorney Bonaventure Ruberwa on Tuesday.
At this point, Ingabire requested that prosecution makes a clear distinction between the documents to be used as evidence against her and those aimed at helping the judge understand her.
The trial, which involves Ingabire and her four co-accused has been ongoing for the last one month. The four are Lt. Colonels Tharcisse Nditurende and Noel Habiyaremye, Major Vital Uwumuremyi and Capt. Jean Marie Vianney Karuta.
The hearing continues today.