GASABO – Barely three weeks after he was arrested trying to bribe a judge to secure the release for a detainee, Damascene Ntiryigema has been sentenced to five years in jail and a fine of Rwf20m as punishment for the crime he committed .
Ntiryigema was caught red-handed as he tried to bribe a judge with Rwf7m to secure a temporary release of businessman Alexis Mugarura.
The Gasabo Intermediate Court of Instance heard that, Ntiryigema intended to bribe the ‘Judge C’ — as described to keep the judge’s identity secret — with Rwf10m and the initial amount was a down payment which he would clear on the release of Mugarura.
Rwanda’s law punishing corruption and related charges stipulates that, depending on the judge’s perspective, the culprit of such crimes will be compelled to spend between five to ten years in jail, in addition to paying two to ten times the amount of what he offered as a bribe.
“The court finds Ntiryigema guilty of corruption,” read Judge Cedric Muyoboke who presided over the ruling.
The verdict that was read in the absence of the accused, also directed the convict to pay Rwf 30,550 in court costs.
Muyoboke ordered Ntiryigema to pay all the money immediately and failure to do so; it will be obtained from his assets.
Ntiryigema was arrested mid last month after the judge he tried to bribe tipped the police and the ‘transaction’ took place at Bambino Super City in Gasabo district.
Meanwhile, court awarded the whistle blower, “Judge C”, Rwf 700,000 which constitute a tenth of the sum that was involved in the transaction.
Businessman Mugarura has been in court over charges related to embezzlement of public funds in the construction of the Eastern Province headquarters which his firm was contracted to build.
Along with former Executive Secretary of Eastern Province Charles Gasana, they are accused of breaching the initial contract and flouting the tendering procedures in order to obtain additional hundreds of millions to the originally contracted amount of Rwf 1.7bn.
The duo appeared twice in Kacyiru Court of Lower Instance demanding a provisional release while waiting the for the trial to begin in substance, their requests were turned down.