Diane Rwigara: court hearing adjourned

East Africa

Nyarugenge Intermediate Court, located in Kigali suburb has, for the second time, adjourned the pre-trial hearing of Diane Rwigara, Anne Rwigara, and their mother Adeline Rwigara to Wednesday October 11 at 9am.

The adjournment was requested by the trio, who said they needed more time to prepare for defence.

 During the court proceeding, the suspects’ lawyer Pierre Celestin Buhuru said that defence needed at least 5 days to, first access a complete file containing their charges and scruitnise it before they can make their defence.

 Adeline Rwigara, Diane's mother said she and the daughters needed complete dossier to become fully aware of charges they are accused of.

However, the prosecution said that the defence was using the strategy as a delaying tactic, noting that the accused were informed of the charges during prior interrogations.

After hearing from both parties, the presiding judge ruled that defendants’ lawyer accesses the dossier via the Electronic Court Management System to expedite the hearing.

Court also observed that there are “missing details” in the file and so the judge asked prosecution to upload some of the missing evidence from the system, especially voice notes intercepted from the suspects’ telephone gadgets to allow the lawyer to access them.

The trio faces charges related to inciting insurrection according to Faustin Nkusi, the spokesperson for the prosecution.

Diane Rwigara, a former presidential aspirant-turned activist, faces additional forgery-related charges which were discovered by the National Electoral Commission during the evaluation of nominations for the recently concluded Presidential Election.

Diane is accused of illegally accessing and using identification papers of party members—belonging to another Rwandan opposition party, Parti Sociale Imberakuri (PS-Imberakuri)—to solicit signatures  required to run for presidency.

Adeline Rwigara, also faces a separate charge of divisionism and discrimination.

Following 1994 genocide, the Rwandan government put in place laws to among others, protect the population from divisionism and discrimination as measures foster unity and reconciliation as well as sustain peace and security.

Anne Rwigara, who is known to be the caretaker of the family business, is also involved in a tax evasion case related to their businesses, which is sources say is likely to be handled by the commercial courts.

The family of the deceased Kigali tycoon Assinapol Rwigara has made several controversial statements since the renowned businessman, considered one of Rwanda’s richest persons, was killed on February 4, 2015 in a car crash.

In what Rwanda National Police said was an accident, the family came out to challenge the police narrative, instead pointing to foul play and possible murder.

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