KIGALI - Former Minister and Member of Parliament, Prof. Munyanganizi Bikoro, will appeal against Tuesday’s verdict by Kagarama Lower Instance Court in which he was sentenced to two years in prison.
The former State Minister for Water and Mines lost his corruption case along side his co-accused Luis Duenas Herrera and Jean Bosco Bavakure.
“I cannot give you now all the details before I speak to my client, but we are going to prepare an appeal,” Bikoro’s lawyer, Emmanuel Rukangira, told The New Times yesterday.
“There is some evidence we presented that was not considered by the court so we feel that, it permits an appeal,” Rukangira added.
The Kagarama Lower Instance Court presided over by Janvier Muhire, announced in passing the verdict that the accused had 30 days to appeal in case they were not satisfied with the outcome.
The court found the politician, guilty of evading taxes on building tiles he received from a Spanish company, Espina Obras Hidraulicas.
Bikoro’s co-accused, Luis Duenas Herrera, the representative of the company, was convicted on two counts of corruption and tax evasion, and sentenced to three years in prison.
Another accomplice, Jean Bosco Bavakure, an engineer with the National Drinking Water Purification Programme (PNEAR) who was also the overseer of the project, was slapped with a one year in jail sentence for complicity in the tax evasion scam.
Espina, was exempted from taxes on all imported materials to be used in a water purification project which they had been contracted by the national water and energy utility Electrogaz to undertake.
However, customs officials later discovered a large consignment that contained building tiles which were not listed on the exempted equipment for the project. They later turned out to belong to Bikoro and had by-passed the normal customs checks.