Prosecution asks 25 years for Ingabire

Prosecution has prayed to the Supreme Court to hand a 25-year prison sentence to Victoire Ingabire on charges related to spreading rumors with an intention to incite the public to rise up against the State and supporting armed groups.
Ingabire (L) consults with her lawyer Edwards during the appeal hearing.  The New Times/ J. Mbanda.
Ingabire (L) consults with her lawyer Edwards during the appeal hearing. The New Times/ J. Mbanda.

Prosecution has prayed to the Supreme Court to hand a 25-year prison sentence to Victoire Ingabire on charges related to spreading rumors with an intention to incite the public to rise up against the State and supporting armed groups.

In October, last year, the High Court sentenced Ingabire to eight years in jail on two counts of Genocide denial and conspiracy and planning to cause state insecurity. She was, however, acquitted of four other charges that included genocide ideology, promoting ethnic divisionism and supporting armed groups.

While Ingabire appealed the sentence before the Supreme Court, the prosecution also lodged its appeal on grounds that the High Court sentence was lenient.

“As we had highlighted earlier, the judge in the High Court ignored important clauses in several laws. We, therefore, pray to this court to rectify this by sentencing her to 25 years in jail,” prosecutor Alphonse Hitiyaremye appealed to the court.

Hitiyaremye, who is also the Deputy Prosecutor-General, heads the prosecuting team of the woman who is accused of terrorism.

He further told the three-man panel of judges that “the High Court deliberately decided not to convict Ingabire on the crime of spreading rumors intended to incite the public to rise up against the State.”

Ingabire, the head of a non-registered political FDU-Inkingi, was arrested after testimonies from various arrested insurgents linked her to subversive activities in the country.

In April 2012, the prosecution had asked the High Court to hand Ingabire a life sentence but, according to Hitiyaremye, Rwanda promulgated a new Penal Code in May 2012, which contains lighter sentences and the prosecution based on the former to ask the Supreme Court to hand Ingabire 25 years.

Ingabire’s defence counsel, made of British lawyer Iain Edwards and Gatera Gashabana, will begin their appeal submissions today.

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