Taarifa Rwanda

Lt. Mutabazi Appeals Against Life Sentence

Lt. Joel Mutabazi, a former lieutenant in the Republican Guard, has appeared before the court to appeal against a life sentence after he was found guilty of terrorism, murder and treason.

Mutabazi was sentenced to life in October 2014 for plotting to kill the president and accused with 10 other people who have not appeared before the court today.

He says that his case was tried contrary to the normal case filing procedure, without his consent, and with witnesses he doesn’t approve of.

His lawyer claimed that Mutabazi suffers from eye problems, hypertension and hepatitis for which he asked the court to release him on bail.

He also said that his client is jailed contrary to the law because he is being held in a cell at the Kanombe Military Camp while he should have been taken to a military prison at Murindi.

The court stated that two among those who had appealed dropped the appeal including Simon Pierre Muhirwe and Anselme Mugabe.

Meanwhile, six other including; Innocent Kalisa, Cyprien Bisangwa, Jean Marie Vianney Ngabonziza, Aminadab Ndayambaje, Barthazar Maniriho and Pelagie Nizerimana had pleaded guilty, requested for pardon and pledged to confess and reveal more about their cases.

However, the prosecution states that the above cannot be pardoned because they are still hooked to Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and the Front Democratique de Liberation Rwandais (FDLR) terror groups.

These six are guilty of crimes they committed including; recruiting members for the terror groups and there is no proof that the accused may not join them again.

The prosecution said that Mutabazi’s motives for appeal are groundless since the doctors from Military Police and the Kanombe Military Hospital check on him day after day.

The judge stated that the issue of Mutabazi’s eye problem is going to be scrutinised and he cannot be released due to the gravity of the charges against him.

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