Ingabire appeal case today

The Supreme Court is due to hear Victoire Ingabire’s appeal today.
Ingabire during one of her court sessions last year. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.
Ingabire during one of her court sessions last year. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

The Supreme Court is due to hear Victoire Ingabire’s appeal today.

This follows appeals filed by both the prosecution and defence challenging the eight-year sentence handed to the head of the yet to be registered political party, FDU-Inkingi.

The High Court, in October, convicted Ingabire on two counts of Genocide denial, and conspiracy and planning to cause state insecurity, and acquitted her of four other charges that included genocide ideology, promoting ethnic divisionism and supporting armed groups.

The Court also cleared Ingabire on charges of genocide ideology, saying all the statements Ingabire made did not indicate that she was calling for genocide.

According to the spokesperson of the National Public Prosecution Authority, Alain Mukuralinda, the prosecution also appealed against the ‘lenient’ sentence handed to Ingabire’s four co-accused.

According to Mukuralinda, the judge ignored that there would be implications for crimes Ingabire may have committed at a later stage – another reason the prosecution based on to appeal.

Ingabire returned to Rwanda in 2010 after living in The Netherlands for 16 years and stariaght away visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where she made a speech which was seen as espousing genocide ideology.

Prosecution alleged that Ingabire’s statements claiming that Hutus who were killed were not being recognised as Tutsis was not simply a free-speech issue because she could incite Rwanda “to once more explode.”

The trial began in September 2011 and wrapped up in April. Four co-defendants all pinned Ingabire on collaboration with armed groups.

Ingabire’s co-accused were handed lighter sentences after they pleaded guilty of all charges and pleaded for leniency.

They include Capt. Jean Marie Vianney Karuta, who was sentenced to two years and seven months in prison and Lt. Col. Tharcisse Nditurende and Lt. Col Noel Habiyaremye, who were both imprisoned for three and half years for planning to cause state insecurity.

Maj. Vital Uwumuremyi was sentenced to three years and a half in prison and a two-year suspended sentence on charges of conspiracy and planning to cause state insecurity.

The four are former officers of the so-called Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, a militia group based in DRC and whose members are blamed for teh 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. 

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