KIGALI - Defence lawyers of John Bosco Gasasira, the Editor-in-chief of a local Kinyarwanda tabloid, Umuvugizi’s, want State Prosecutor Faustin Munyamahoro withdrawn from the case.
Gasasira is accused of invasion of privacy and defaming John Bosco Mutangana and Dr. Dianne Gashumba.
Mutangana is the head of the genocide fugitives tracking unit in the Prosecutor General’s office while Dr Gashumba is the head of Muhima Hospital in Kigali.
The two defence lawyers, Claudine Gasarabwe and Jean de Dieu Momo, claim that Munyamahoro was recently transferred to Huye District but were surprised when he appeared in court Tuesday to represent the prosecution.
They argue that once a prosecutor is transferred, he only pursues his previous case after the Prosecution National Council has granted him permission.
In response, Munyamahoro explained that the Prosecutor General granted him permission in writing and the letter was also copied to Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama.
There was a standoff when lawyers insisted that a copy of the letter be given to them as proof, a request Munyamahoro turned down.
“We have kept on requesting the court to give us a copy of the letter written by the Prosecutor General authorising Munyamahoro to pursue this case but in vain.
We protested from beginning but there is no response,” Gasarabwe complained.
The lawyers say such a letter is crucial and could be used to appeal if need arises.
Munyamahoro responded that the letter was personal, and it was only addressed to him and the minister, so presenting it to court would create suspicion why he had been recalled.
Gasasira is battling the defamation case in Kagarama Court of Lower Instance.