The judge presiding over the Rwigaras case has again adjourned the case, to October 11, at 9am.
The decision came after a heated legal battle between the prosecution and the defending lawyer, over the full access to their dossier that was not granted by the prosecution.
On Friday, the Nyarugenge court judge had adjourned the case over the absence of the Rwigaras’ lawyer, Celestin Buhuru.
However, on Monday morning, the accused’s lawyer appeared before court with his clients and said that he had not been given access to the full case file.
Prosecution defended its ground saying that the dossier contains testimonies and its content is confidential, to be used only during the hearing, thus the defense is not privy to the prosecution’s complete dossier.
It also argued that it can’t hand over a full dossier to the suspects’ lawyer, while its investigations continue, adding that the law provides for confidentiality of some information.
To this, Me Buhuru responded that, “That is not my dossier. It is my clients’ dossier. There is nothing confidential.”
Then Adeline Rwigara, the mother of the two sisters, Anne and Diane, requested the judge to instruct the prosecutor to share a copy of the file. Citing the name of the Lord, and concluding with Amen, she said, “I and my daughters don’t know what we are accused of. We need to know in full what we are accused of,” she pleaded to the court.
The judge asked the prosecution to respond if what they have to say is different from their earlier defense.
The prosecution said that as far as they are concerned, the trio was interrogated and charges were read out to them.
The prosecution disagreed with lawyer’s claim of inaccessibility to the file, saying he seems uninterested in the case thus victimizing the suspect.
Prosecution later relented and agreed to allow the lawyer access to the file, but on condition that he only reads the file in their absence, since it’s also “the persecutor’s dossier and not the accused.”
The defendant, after all, requested that the hearing be postponed to five days from today.
The plaintiff, in defense, recognized that indeed in the legal benefit of the suspects, the hearing be postponed, but recommended only 72 hours, citing the urgency and sensitivity of the case.
The judge adjourned the hearing to October 11, at 9am, amid deafening silence in the courtroom that was packed to the fullest. The judge also warned that no more postponement of the hearing will be permitted.
They are charged with offenses against state security, but Diane particularly is accused of forgery and insurrection.
The courtroom was full compared to the previous session
Embattled and controversial politician, Me Bernard Ntaganda, appeared in court and sat on the front desk
Rwigara’s two sons appeared in court today to witness the hearing
The Rwigaras appeared well dressed than the previous session. All dressed in executive outfit
Security detail was changed. Female officers escorted the suspects as opposed to the previous session
A sound system was installed in the court. It wasn’t there in the previous session
Journalists respected ground rules laid by the presiding judge. Neither filming nor photographing during the court session was granted. Journalists defied the rule in the previous session