Ingabire back in court for appeal hearing

The Supreme Court will, today, resume hearing the case in which Victoire Ingabire, who was last year convicted of terrorism, endangering state security and denying the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, is appealing her sentence.
Ingabire (L) consults with her lawyer Edwards during her trial. She is challenging her sentence today. The New Times/ File.
Ingabire (L) consults with her lawyer Edwards during her trial. She is challenging her sentence today. The New Times/ File.

The Supreme Court will, today, resume hearing the case in which Victoire Ingabire, who was last year convicted of terrorism, endangering state security and denying the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, is appealing her sentence.

Ingabire last appeared before the court on March 25, challenging the October 2012 High Court decision to hand her an eight-year jail term. Ingabire wants the verdict overturned.

However, Prosecution had equally lodged its appeal to the same court, challenging the sentence handed to Ingabire on grounds that it was too lenient and that the High Court had ignored some clauses of the law.

In its appeal, prosecution said the judges in High Court made a poor interpretation of laws and failed to examine effectively the accusation of forming a terrorist group to attack and cause insecurity in the country.

Ground for charges

Prosecutor Alain Mukuralinda told the Supreme Court in the State appeal that the High Court judge ignored Article 163 of the Penal Code that was in force in 2010 when Ingabire was arrested.

He said the judge ruled that it was not a full crime since it was still in the planning stage–that the charge would have been a full crime if the objective had been achieved.

The prosecution avers that the judge examined articles they had not submitted in the file against Ingabire and co-accused. Mukuralinda said they were supposed to consider Articles 163 and 164 of the Penal Code at the time of arrest and charges.

During today’s hearing, the prosecution is expected to make more submissions, specifically on the charges of inciting the public against the leadership as well as crimes of ethnic divisionism and discrimination.

Ingabire is the leader of a yet-to-be registered political party, FDU-Inkingi.

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