Rwanda National Prosecution said on Monday that the two cases of Paul Rusesabagina and Nsabimana Callixte ‘Sankara’ were destined for a merger, Aimable Havugiyaremye the Prosecutor General told Journalists.
Rusesabagina who is on record for declaring war against the government in a YouTube video, is now battling charges of “terrorism”, complicity in murder, and forming or joining an armed group, among other charges.
Suspect Rusesabagina is the supreme leader of the opposition MRCD group which is said to have an armed wing, the FLN, which previously launched of attacks on Rwanda that Sankara took to international and social media claiming responsibility for.
Meanwhile, Rusesabagina’s name has repeatedly featured in Sankara’s ongoing terrorism case- court had heard allegations that the National Liberation Front (FLN) rebel group had received help from Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu because of his close friendship with Rusesabagina.
Rusesabagina is on record for publicly heading the National Liberation Front (FLN) and Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) and priding their actions of killing, looting, kidnapping and destroying infrastructure in communities surrounding Nyungwe National Park forest in Southern Rwanda.
Prosecutor General Explains the Merger
According to Aimable Havugiyaremye the Prosecutor General, “Paul Rusesabagina will be charged with various criminal offences, including terrorism, financing terrorism, recruiting child soldiers, kidnapping, arson, and forming terror groups. This is in connection with his leadership role in the armed group known as MRCD/FLN.”
The Prosecutor General told Journalists that Rwanda now has in custody 16 FLN fighters, including senior commanders, who are suspected of taking part in the attacks in southern Rwanda in 2018.
“They include Félicien Nsanzubukire (also known as Fred Irakiza), Anastase Munyaneza, and Jean-Chrétien Ndagijimana (son of the late FLN commander Laurent Ndagijimana, also known as Wilson Irategeka). A full list of the 16 fighters in custody will be provided to you,” he said on Monday during a press conference in the capital Kigali.
Technically, Prosecution said it intends to submit a joint indictment of these 16 defendants, together with Rusesabagina.
Prosecution said it will also file a request with the court to merge this case together with the case of Callixte Nsabimana and Herman Nsengimana.
“We believe that all 19 defendants should be tried together. This is a common practice, known as the principle of connectivity of offenses, which is provided for in our laws,” the Prosecutor General said.
According to the prosecutor General, a merger means that when a group of defendants is charged with the same crimes in the same place at the same time, it is in the interest of justice for court to consider the cases together.