People Salvation Movement

Bail decision for Rwigaras set for Friday

The High Court in Kigali will rule whether to issue a temporary release for Diane Rwigara and her mother Adeline on Friday.

The pair appeared in court on Tuesday morning for bail application hearing.

Diane, a government critic, is facing charges of forgery related to her unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2017 in which she was disqualified.

She also faces insurrection charges along with her mother who is also accused of promoting sectarianism.

The mother and daughter have already spent a year in prison since their arrest last September.

The prosecution on Tuesday told the court that the two would be a flight risk and could skip bail if released. The prosecutors also argued that they could interfere with investigations.

“We believe the accused are facing charges of a serious nature and if released, we fear they might continue to do the same or interfere with the investigations. There are four more people in this case who are still at large.

“If released, the accused are likely to get in touch with them and facilitate them to evade justice. Prosecution would prefer that the accused remain in detention and instead the court ensures that the case takes off in substance without any further delays,” the state lawyers said.

Those the prosecutors want tried alongside the Rwigaras are Diane’s aunt, Ms Tabitha Gwiza Mugenzi, who resides in Toronto, Canada, Mr Xaverine Mukangarambe and Mr Jean Paul Turayishimiye, who live in the US, and Mr Edmund Musheija, who lives in Belgium.

But the defence lawyers, Pierre Celestin Buhuru and Gatera Gashabana, disagreed with the prosecution saying investigations were complete and accused the prosecutors of “legal acrobatics”.

“Can you keep someone in jail simply because you fear that the person will speak to another person on phone?” posed Mr Gashabana.

He said that Diane and her mother pose no flight risk since the court would reverse its decision should the restrictions on bail be violated.

The High Court set Friday October 5 for the ruling on the bail application.

The trial will resume hearing on November 7

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