Rwanda prosecutors demand 22 years for rebels

2016-03-02 21:15
Paul Kagame. (File, AP)

Paul Kagame. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kigali - Rwandan prosecution lawyers called for 22-year jail sentences on Wednesday against two senior military figures on trial for inciting rebellion against the central African nation's strongman, President Paul Kagame.

Both men, once close to Kagame's inner circle, former presidential guard chief and serving colonel, Tom Byabagamba, and retired brigadier-general Frank Rusagara, were arrested in August 2014.

They were charged with inciting rebellion by "spreading rumours" and "tarnishing the image of the country and government". They deny all charges.

"They should be punished with 22 years in jail," military lawyer Faustin Nzakamwita said.

According to military prosecutors, the pair had attempted to turn military officials against the government, while Rusagara had been relaying "propaganda" from the dissident Rwanda National Congress (RNC), an exiled opposition group that includes several former top members of Kagame's ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

The prosecutor said Rusagara had been heard saying Rwanda "is a police state and a banana republic", and that he had described Kagame as a "dictator".

For his part Byabagamba had allegedly said that the FDLR, a Hutu extremist group based in Democratic Republic of Congo that includes former 'genocidaires', was no longer a major threat to the country.

Critics of Kagame, however, say the trials expose the workings of a paranoid state that is increasingly nervous over the activities of the RNC.

A co-founder of the RNC, Rwanda's former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, once a comrade-in-arms of Kagame's, was murdered on New Year's Eve 2013 in Johannesburg.

Prosecutors have also called for a six year sentence for Rusagara's driver, Francois Kabayiza.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    paul kagame  |  rwanda  |  east africa

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.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.