When the judge adjourned the case for the fourth time now, to October 17, the audience in the courtroom murmured.
The setting of the hearing was different this time. The court premises were tightly guarded. Anyone entering was searched and registered in a book by security.
The courtroom was not as congested compared to previous sessions.
Everyone maintained maximum silence inside the room. When all the seats were occupied, security sealed off the courtroom. No more people were allowed in to stand as it was in the last three sessions.
A speaker was installed outside the courtroom for those who did not enter to follow the proceedings from outside.
The whole scene was surgically managed, well organised and with less commotion. Those with keen interest in the Rwigaras were biting their nails as prosecution battled with the defense.
The appearance of Counsel Gatera Gashabana to defend Adeline Rwigara invigorated the sessions. The soft-spoken seasoned lawyer did not take much time.
He politely told the judge that he was not ready to proceeding with defending his client unless he has had enough time to examine the file of charges against her.
Immediately prosecution sensed a stalemate and proposed a twist in its defense.
It suggested that since Anne Rwigara and Diane Rwigara’s had lawyer has had time to examine their file, then they be tried separately from their mother Adeline.
Gashabana reject the argument saying that despite the fact that the accused have to answer independently, the case is jointly filed against the trio.
Secondly, he said that he has just received his client’s file. “I met my client yesterday (Thursday) at 4pm,” he said. “I have not examined her file yet, I thus need time to look through it.”
The judge proceeded with granting Gashabana time to study the file and prepare to respond to the charges of his client on Tuesday.
But before adjourning, a seemingly calm Anne Rwigara made four requests.
One, that the judge instructs the accused access to facilities including a Bible.
Secondly, that they be allowed to sunbathe. “We are locked up in the cell 24hours without stepping out,” she said.
Thirdly, she requested for enough time with visitors.
And finally she asked the judge if they can be availed with a copy of their dossier.
The judge responded saying that such arrangements are out of the scope of this case and advised her to ask their lawyers to settle the issues outside the court with prosecution.
Meanwhile, as security arranged to take the accused back to their cells, a huge crowd stood by the fence outside the court along the street to have a glimpse.
Others stood in front of the door way with their cell phones to take pictures and videos.
When security escorted the accused out of the courtroom to the Police van, a lady from the audience shouted on top of her voice calling “Mama Diane”….“Jesus is alive, Jesus is alive.” Anne stopped and turned her face to the audience with a smile.
“Amen, Amen,” Anne responded. Security stopped for a moment allowing Anne and Diane to look around before they entered into the van and off they were driven.
The lady, whom we were not able to identify, broke into tears and was seen taken away by a gentleman who had accompanied her.
After the session, Taarifa spoke to Counsels Gashabana and Buhuru. They couldn’t comment on the matter. “I have nothing to say,” Gashaba said. “What don’t you see,” he said shrugging off his shoulders with a meek smile.
The two lawyers are expected to appear before court with their clients on October 17.
The trio are accused of inciting insurrection. Diane Rwigara has an extra charge of forgery. The mother, Adeline Rwigara also faces another charge of propagating divisionism and discrimination