Taarifa can confirm businessman Paul Muvunyi and co-accused are now free. They were released on Wednesday evening.
Prosecution Spokesperson Faustin Nkusi could not pick our phone calls by press time.
Our sources told us that they were released after paying a fine subject to applicable law that paves way for prosecution to terminate criminal investigation and charges against a suspect.
According to Article 25 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Rwanda, for any offence that falls within his/her competence, if the prosecutor considers that the offence may be punishable by a fine, he or she may ask the suspect to choose between being brought before the court or paying a fine without trial, which fine cannot exceed the maximum fine increased by any possible additional amount stipulated by law.
“If the suspect decides to pay the fine without
trial, the criminal action against the suspect is
discontinued. The decision is notified to the victims,” the article states.
The payment of fine does not constitute
admission of guilt. Basically, Muvunyi and the other three are did not necessarily plead guilty to be awared a fine.
The four were arrested on Christmas Eve on suspicion of forgery, according to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) that filed a dossier against them to prosecution.
The law provides that the fine payable be not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million or imprisonment of not less than fives years and not more than seven years.
Sources confirmed to Taarifa that the accused parties in this cases paid Rwf 3 million each.
These provisions are cited in Article 273, Paragaph 3 of law No. 68/2018 of August 30, 2018 determining offences and penalties in general, published in the Official Gazette No. special of September 27, 2018.
Muvunyi’s phone number was going through in the evening, but he did not return our call.