Terror suspects to know fate in December as trial ends

Wednesday September 12 2018

Some of the suspects accused of terrorism at

Some of the suspects accused of terrorism at the High Court of Rwanda in Kigali on February 15, 2017. PHOTO | FILE 

By RODRIGUE RWIRAHIRA
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The High Court’s chamber of international crimes has closed hearings on a case in which 41 suspects accused of being behind the 2016 terror activities.

Harrison Mutabazi, spokesperson of the courts said that the hearings, which have been held behind closed doors have been concluded and the judges will deliver their judgement on December 14.

Forty-one suspects, among them four children were arraigned before the High Court in March last year to respond to charges regarding terrorism and radicalisation.

The suspects were accused of being members a terrorist organisation; complicity in a Terrorist Act; formation of a criminal gang; financing terrorism and offences of non-compliance with the laws.

Reacting on the proceedings of the case, Antoinette Mukamusoni, a lawyer of one of the suspects, Sais she hopes justice will be done to her client.

“The prosecution depending on charges and evidence, had asked the court to sentence my client to 36 years in prison, which we contested and we believe the court will heed to our request and free her, so that can go home and reunite with the family,” she said.

Ms Mukamusoni is representing Latifa Moreen Umulinga, a 21-year-old suspect, who was arrested in Bugarama in Rusizi district in 2016 after her a man suspected to be her boyfriend was killed in a police shoot-out for having involved in terrorism and radicalisation activities.

The case was first tried openly by Gasabo intermediate court where suspects were 17, but the number grew to 41 and was later referred to the High Court.

In the first trials which were public, the prosecution had begged the court to try the case in camera for security purposes and surety of public order, a request which was later considered by the court.

Although the prosecution had earlier argued that charges involving children were both connected and intertwined, the High Court judge last year ruled on separation of the case, a decision that saw children tried by a specialised juvenile court.

According to Adolph Udahemuka, President of Intermediate Court of Gasabo, which tried and ruled on the case of four children last year in December, two of them were acquitted while two others were sentenced to 14 and 10 years of jail term.

“We understand those who were sentenced have appealed our decision in a superior court; they include Hussein Nkundimana, who was sentenced to 14 years and Salim Uwamahoro was sentenced to 10 years; while both Tuyizere Hussein and Tuyizere Hassan were acquitted,” he said.