MRCD-FLN terror suspects back in court on Friday

Leave a comment / By: manifel / 26 February, 2021 08:41:12AM
MRCD-FLN terror suspects back in court on Friday

Twenty-one terror suspects linked to MRCD and its militia wing FLN, will return to court on Friday, February 26, following last week’s decision by judges to postpone the case.

The decision to adjourn the case followed an objection by Paul Rusesabagina, one of the accused, that the High Court Chamber for International and Cross-Border Crimes did not have the jurisdiction to try him.

He among other reasons said that he is a Belgian citizen who had renounced his Rwandan citizenship, and, therefore, requested to be sent back to Belgium and be tried from there.

The court is expected to give its verdict on this complaint on Friday. The hearing will start at 8:30 a.m at the premises of the Supreme Court. 

According to officials from the judiciary, the venue was chosen because it has enough space to accommodate all the accused, their defence team, representatives of civil parties, the media among others interested in the proceedings.

Speaking to The New Times, Harrison Mutabazi, the Spokesperson of the Judiciary, noted that “it is expected that all suspects will be present in court,” adding that “the court proceedings will be, once again, live-streamed as it was the case in the previous hearing”.

According to Mutabazi, the move to live-stream the event is in line with allowing as many people as possible to attend the case. 

The exception is that this time, the proceedings will be followed in both Kinyarwanda with simultaneous translation in English.

Besides Rusesabagina, the group is composed of Callixte Nsabimana, also known as Sankara, and Herman Nsengimana, both of whom are successive spokespersons of FLN militia group.

During last week’s trial, the former challenged Rusesabagina, saying that it was shame that he claims not to be Rwandan, yet he was agitating to be Rwandan president.

Angeline Mukandutiye is also among the accused, being the sole woman in the group. She faces the charge of being a member of a terrorist group returned to Rwanda after an offensive by the national army of DR Congo routed FLN and other fighters out of their positions in the eastern part of the country.

All the 21 suspects face terrorism-related charges. Their alleged acts resulted in the death of nine innocent civilians between 2018 and 2019 in the south-western part of the country.

The case has attracted civil parties, representing 84 individuals who are seeking damages from the group, having been affected by their activities.


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