KIMIHURURA - Chief Justice Aloysie Cyanzayire has suspended Musanze High Court Judge Sarto Munyaneza over an indistinctive court decision, Sunday Times has established.
Munyaneza reportedly made a contradicting court decision where he passed a second judgment on a case that had already been completed by another judge.
In a controversial move, the accused judge surprisingly decided to reduce the number of years his colleague had given to a convict when the case was not under appeal.
According to the letter dated October 23, 2009 the Chief Justice, who is also the chairperson of the High Council of the Judiciary, ordered the judge’s suspension.
“Following a decision made by the High Council of the Judiciary in a meeting from September 28 up to October 2, 2009, the Chief Justice has decreed that Sarto Munyaneza, a Judge of Musanze High Court, be suspended,” the letter a copy of which Sunday Times has seen read in part.
When contacted, Kigali High Court president Johnston Busingye only said it was a loss for the High Court which needs more human resources to work on the heap of work the court has.
“I hope it is resolved quickly and he goes back to work,” Busingye said.
Highly placed sources have told the Sunday Times that the matter has been taken to the National Public Prosecution Authority for proper investigations.
The Deputy Prosecutor General, Alphonse Hitiyaremye, confirmed the development but did not give any details and referred the paper to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
“We have asked CID to investigate the matter and then we can handle it from their investigations,” said Hitiyaremye.
The matter came into the limelight when a judge of an appeal court (Nyanza High Court) discovered that there were two different judgements in one file from Huye Intermediate Court.
The convict, who had been sentenced to10 years in jail and fined for rape, had appealed to the higher court to reconsider the lower court decision over what he felt was heavy punishment.
This is when the mismatch in number of years in the conviction was discovered.
The convict had a copy of the court decision indicating that he had been sentenced to 5 years in prison, yet the initial judge who handled his file insisted that she had sentenced him to ten years.