15th March 2012 – Prosecutor releases additional indictment in Ingabire’s trial

Kigali, 15 March 2012.

The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) presented their points of the additional indictment based on evidential allegations from the Netherlands.

The prosecutor claims that, on the basis of evidential material received from the Netherlands and taken from the residential home of Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza during a search organized by the Netherlands police, it has proof that, in collaboration with other allied political parties, she was involved in the creation of an armed group aimed at waging terrorist acts in Rwanda and that she already knew the co-accuseds, key witnesses of the NPPA.

From the bunch of the much touted 600 pages, the prosecution is relying only on 4 documents to lay the ground for the political prisoner to be life- sentenced for her alleged role in plans to carry out terrorist acts inside the country. The first document’s heading is “24 February”; document number two is named “action plan inside”; document number3 talks about education project to citizenship; the fourth document is a long testimony containing statements and police interrogations of Madame Spéciose Mujawamariya. None of those documents was signed by nor mentions the name of Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. There are no names, no full dates on the three papers. Even the prosecution acknowledged that Ingabire is not the author but should explain why the papers were in her house in Holland while she is in maximum prison in Rwanda.

According to the NPPA, it is claimed that the second document “action plan inside” is said to describe the criteria that should guide the selection of people in Rwanda – including those who have experienced and personally suffered from repression, have been wrongfully jailed with or without a dossier; have their properties looted; have been beaten, or fired from job; have a family member or close relative victim of atrocities from the government (summary executed, missing, jailed without trial, or in exile); have been labeled as opposition activists during the period that followed the seizure of power by the RPF – is an overwhelming proof that Ms. Victoire Ingabire was planning terrorist acts. The Prosecutor thinks that the document on “education project to citizenship” shows that the defendant had a double language when addressing the public or in private.

From a lengthy statement from the witness Spéciose Mujawamariya, the NPPA is only interested in one money transfer worth one thousand Euros in favor of Dieudonnée Muhindo in 2008, and the fact that she was well acquainted to the defendant. The prosecutor is silent on allegations from the very witness confirming that the Rwandan government is sending hit squads to assassinate people in exile (example of her husband who narrowly escaped a summary execution from intelligence operatives in South Africa).

The so called overwhelming evidence from the Netherlands has already paralysed this kangaroo process with postponements, home searches and defence costs.

Madame Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza strongly disagreed with the whole charge-sheeted narrative. She informed a visibly one-sided court that she should not be asked to explain herself on documents without neither her own name, nor FDU-Inkingi logo. She stated that though the Dutch cooperation was misused in this case, the police search, the handling of materials were marred by many mistakes: the search was effected with no presence of a lawyer; my husband was there but he was not shown on spot precisely the inventory of seized documents; a few papers were shown only after third party’s access to them; there was no proces-verbal showing the conditions in which the Rwandan prosecutors fingered or manipulated the documents as this was done in secrecy. Perplexed, one defense lawyer asked how a court would use such ungenuine material in a criminal evidential stage.

Madame Ingabire asked: “how this honorable high court is summoning me to explain myself on spurious documents I have no knowledge of existence simply because of a faulty police-process just pretending they were found in a place I left more than a year before?” For example one of those filed bogus document does not show its first page, while some and other pages are missing from time to time. The omission of real dates of this document is crucial because on the non-retroactivity of criminal laws. The Rwandan Law No 45/2008 of 09/09/2008 on counter terrorism was published in the official gazette n° 14 of 06 April 2009.

The Supreme Court is starting the hearing on constitutional review of genocide ideology laws on 27 March 2012. In order to update her submissions, Ingabire has requested a few days for preparation. Next week, the High court will decide on this. In the meantime the proceedings continue.

Boniface Twagirimana
Interim Vice President