Burundi jails 14 for murder of activist

2012-05-24 13:53
Bujumbura - A Burundian court has convicted 14 people of killing a prominent anti-corruption activist in 2009, despite assertions from human rights groups that it ignored FBI evidence to jail the wrong people.

The jail terms, handed down on Tuesday, ranged from 10 years to life imprisonment, a Justice Ministry spokesperson said.

The authorities have not explained the background to Ernest Manirumva's murder in 2009. The human rights group APRODH said it had found that he had been investigating weapons trafficking from Burundian police to Rwandan Hutu rebels in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2009, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation answered a Burundian government request to help investigate the murder.

"The trial wasn't fair from start to finish. We don't trust this false ruling," said APRODH chairperson Pierre Claver Mbonimpa.

"For us, the wrong people have been found guilty because there are police officers who were cited in the FBI report but never brought to court," he said.

The Justice Ministry declined to comment.

Another campaign group, the Forum for the Strengthening of Civil Society (FORSC), said the judicial authorities "have at every stage in the proceedings disregarded the FBI's recommendations".

"None of the police or military officials mentioned in the FBI report has even been investigated," it said.

Last year Burundi was ranked as east Africa's most corrupt country by Transparency International for the second year in a row.

Defence lawyer Isidore Rufyikiri told Reuters he planned to appeal.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa  |  human rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

In order to really connect to your feelings, you need to quieten your mind. Let go of expectations and connect to the moment you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.