Court postpones Ingabire verdict

2012-10-05 13:55

Kigali - Rwanda's Supreme Court on Friday postponed a ruling on a suit filed by a leading opposition figure challenging one of the laws under which she is being prosecuted.

Victoire Ingabire, accused of bankrolling terrorism and denying the 1994 genocide, brought a suit in March contesting the legality of Rwanda's genocide ideology laws.

"Since the panel of judges is incomplete, the [Supreme] court decision will be announced on October 18," said deputy Chief Justice, Sylvie Zainabu Kaitesi, the lead judge on the panel of nine judges.

Ingabire, leader of the Unified Democratic Forces (FDU), a political grouping that has not been allowed to register as a party, is charged with "financial support to a terrorist group, planning state insecurity and divisionism".

The twice-postponed verdict in Ingabire's trial for aiding an armed group is set for 19 October, one day after the Supreme Court ruling.

Ingabire, a Hutu, denies the charges.

Prosecutors in April called for her to be given a life sentence.

Ingabire, an outspoken critic of President Paul Kagame, has been in custody since October 2010, and has boycotted proceedings since April after the court cut short a witness who accused authorities of rigging evidence against her.

Rwandan prosecutors claim to have evidence of Ingabire's "terrorist" activities, including proof of financial transfers to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda, a Hutu rebel movement based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The FDU accuses Rwandan authorities of fabricating evidence against its leader, with the sole aim of preventing her from participating in the political affairs of the small central African country.