Report on arrests in Karegeya murder a big lie – Hawks

2014-01-08 16:00

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A report that three men were arrested in connection with the murder of former Rwandan intelligence head Patrick Karegeya is a “big lie”, according to the Hawks.

The New Age reported today that three Rwandan nationals, including Lieutenant Colonel Francis Gakwerere, were arrested at a hotel in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, after Rwandan exiles alerted local police about their presence in the country.

“It is not true. It is a big lie,” said Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko.

Karegeya was found strangled to death on a bed in the Michelangelo Towers hotel in Johannesburg’s affluent Sandton area on New Year’s Day. At a wreath-laying ceremony for him on Sunday, Rwandan exiles blamed the government of President Paul Kagame for the murder.

While the government hasn’t commented publicly on the death, Foreign Minister Louise Mushikawabo said on Sunday Karegeya was an “enemy” of the state.

Pedro Cossa, a spokesperson for Mozambique’s police, declined today to comment on whether there have been any arrests.

Three men, including Gakwerere, were questioned by police in Maputo as persons of interest in the case, according to Chad Thomas of IRS Forensic Investigations, a Johannesburg-based company that probes financial crimes in Africa.

Police questioned Gakwerere because he was also a person of interest after the 2010 attempted assassination of Kayumba Nyamwasa, a founding member of the Rwanda National Congress, an opposition party, in Johannesburg, Thomas said today in a phone interview.

Ramaloko declined to confirm that anyone had been questioned in connection with the murder. The Hawks were making “satisfactory progress” in the investigation, he said.

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