(English) RWANDA: INGABIRE TRIAL POSTPONED TO ALLOW PROSECUTOR'S WITNESSES TO PREPARE CROSS-EXAMINATION QUESTIONS.

Kigali, 03rd November 2011
The High Court has adjourned for a week the political trial of Madame Ingabire in order to allow the prosecutor’s witnesses to homework their answers for cross-examination questions. They have received the questions from the defense counsel deemed by the court to need a prior preparation. The court decided that Madame Ingabire will be questioned by all of them as well.

Today’s hearing was dominated again by pieces of evidence to be given by the Dutch government. The prosecutor presented new information from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands accusing Ingabire Dutch lawyers to delay the transfer of the material. They wanted the key defendant to help them pre-empt the court process in Holland. The Defense counsel reminded that Madame Ingabire is in prison and has no powers on that process and demanded the National public Prosecution Authority to halt this kind of harassment because she has nothing to do with its cooperation with foreign judicial systems. The political prisoner is not responsible of the proceedings relating to letters rogatory seeking assistance and cooperation in foreign countries .
The Court questioned the defendant on allegations she made in her interview given in Kigali Serena Hotel in 2010 that the economy of the country is concentrated in the hands of a small click while the majority of the population is diving into poverty; that Gacaca is sometimes used as a political tool to silence the opposition. She refered to a UNDP 2007 report “Turning vision 2020 into Reality: from Recovery to Sustainable Human Development” giving figures of social inequalities in Rwanda. As for Gacaca, she mentioned the case of political prisoner Dr. Theoneste Niyitegeka convicted after challenging the incumbent in the 2003 presidential elections and after his open critics of the Gacaca system on the Voice of America in 2005.
Justice in Rwanda is still far short from international standards. It’s an irony to pretend to handle international cases from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) or the case of Mr. Hissene HABRE, the former President of Tchad.

FDU-Inkingi
Boniface Twagirimana
Interim Vice-President

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