Court in Rwanda Postpones Appeal Hearing of Key Genocide Suspect

Leon Mugesera

Leon Mugesera

The appeal case of Rwanda’s top genocide suspect, Dr. Leon Mugesera, has been postponed to February 7, pending hearing of one of the key witness testimonies by the Supreme Court of Rwanda.

His lawyer, Jean Felix Rudakemwa said on Monday that the testimony of the witness is vital to the case and they had appealed to the Supreme Court for this cause.

“This witness is important in the case and the high court had refused to hear this testimony, which is of great importance to our case” Rudakemwa.

Rudakemwa also said that the battle is still long since they have also appealed in the Supreme Court on some issues that were not resolved during last year’s trial, which almost turned dramatic as both the lawyer and the suspect were fined for refusing to appear in court.

In October last year, Dr. Mugesera and his defense team appealed the decision taken by the High court in the case trial and they had earlier on said that they will not appear in court unless their plight is considered.

In his appeal Mugesera told the Supreme Court that during the earlier trials in the High court, judges tried one of the witnesses, even when the suspect had asked that the case be halted until his defense team resolves issues of facilitation submitted to court.

Mugesera said that this issue should be considered before any decision is taken in his case by the Supreme Court, which had scheduled the final verdict for April 2016.

Mugesera is facing five charges of Genocide-related crimes: inciting masses to take part in the Genocide, planning and preparing the Genocide, conspiracy in the crime of Genocide, torture as a crime against humanity, and inciting hatred among people especially with his infamous hate speech made in Kabaya, Ngororero.

He was deported to Rwanda from Canada in 2012 after spending several years fighting his extradition, which he claims cost him a fortune.