Terror trial: Suspect retracts earlier statement, rejects FDLR links

One of the suspects in the terror trial involving Lt. Joel Mutabazi yesterday changed her earlier statement and said she travelled to DR Congo to shop for her nuptials and not to acquire military training.
The suspects in court on Wednesday. John Mbanda.
The suspects in court on Wednesday. John Mbanda.

One of the suspects in the terror trial involving Lt. Joel Mutabazi yesterday changed her earlier statement and said she travelled to DR Congo to shop for her nuptials and not to acquire military training.

 Pelagie Nizeyimana was appearing before the Military High Court.  She had earlier admitted to prosecution that she went to DRC to acquire military training from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia.

Prosecution maintains that Nizeyimana, a former teacher at Groupe Scolaire Matyazo in the Southern Province, had after acquiring training, returned to the country to spread propaganda designed by Rwanda National Congress (RNC) aimed at inciting the population to rebel against the state.

Prosecutor Lt. Faustin Nzakamwita said Cyprian Nibishaka, a fiancé to Nzeyimana, arranged for her trip to DRC where she was trained by the FDLR how to operate different types of rifles.

“She was also taught to stage other subversive acts like burning petrol stations and using peas to cause car accidents,” he said.

Bank account

Prosecution also says that the suspects created a bank account in Bank of Kigali, Musanze branch.

Dative Murekeyisoni, who is said to be the treasurer of the RNC group in Rwanda, yesterday admitted having opened the account.

She told court that she is a co-signatory with Jean de Dieu Nizigiyeyo, one of the suspects in the terror trial.

She, however, said that the account was for income-generating purposes and rejected any RNC links.

However, prosecution countered this by presenting to court a paper bearing names of  RNC members who paid contributions.

“The bank account was for deposits for contributions of RNC members,”  Nzakamwita said.

The two suspects, Murekeyisoni and Nizigiyeyo, are among the students of the National University of Rwanda who were recruited through a joint enterprise of FDLR, a blacklisted terror group, and RNC, a South Africa-based outfit that has been linked to a series of grenade blasts in the country.

The trial involves 16 suspects, including former republican guard officer Lt. Mutabazi, and they are charged with a litany of crimes including terrorism, creation and being part of a criminal gang.

The trial has shown how RNC and FDLR have created an alliance with an aim of destabilising state security. Court was adjourned to July 17.

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