Rwanda: Genocide suspect appeals Supreme Court decision, to Supreme Court

Leone Mugesera

Leon Mugesera

Rwanda’s top class genocide suspect, Dr. Leon Mugesera, and his defense team have appealed the decision taken by the High court three weeks ago ordering them to continue with their trial without fail, they filed their appeal in the same Supreme Court.

In his appeal Mugesera told Supreme Court that the ruling be rescinded because during the course of this protracted trial, the court Judges had cross-examined one of the witnesses without his consent yet he had asked the entire trial to be halted until the suspect and his lawyer resolve their facilitation issues.

Mugesera said that this issue should be considered before any decision is reached in the case of which the final verdict is set for April 2006.

“I ask that the earlier decision taken by the court be reversed here since they (Judges and Prosecution) continued with the trial even when there were issues at hand.” Mugesera said.

The Supreme Court judges however said that this issue cannot be revisited at this time since the defendant didn’t raise it duly when the case was in the Supreme Court.

Prosecutors Alain Mukurarinda and Claudine Dushimimana advised court to consider investigating the issues surrounding the appeal before the case proceeds.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court upheld earlier decision to fine Mugesera’s lawyer- Jean Felix Rudakemwa whom the earlier court had fined three time for delaying court proceedings and skipping court with no genuine excuse.

The total fine is Rwf1.4 milllion, but Rudakemwa told court he can only agree to paying Rwf500.000 immediately before leaving court. The ruling on this particular fight between Mugesera and the prosecution is slated for November 27.

Mugesera is facing five charges of Genocide-related crimes: inciting masses to partake in 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.