Friday 5 June 2020
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newtimes - 15 days ago

Kangondo assault case: Military court postpones appeal hearing

The Military High Court on Thursday, May 21 postponed the hearing of an appeal filed by five Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) soldiers who were remanded last week on charges of assaulting citizens. The soldiers, all at the rank of private, along with one civilian were sent on a 30-day remand by a military tribunal, on charges of committing several acts of aggression against citizens of Kangondo 2 village, Nyarutarama cell in Remera Sector, Gasabo District, City of Kigali. The offences were committed in March this year while the soldiers were on night patrol. Two of the so Fidele Nishimwe and Patrick Ndayishimiye were charged with rape, robbery, creating and being part of a criminal group, beating and injuring people, trespass, as well as abandoning their patrol stations and not respecting its regulations. The other Francois Gatete, John Gahirwa, and Theoneste Twagi along with two local security of Donat Ntakaziraho and Diane Mukamulisa were charged with being accessories to crimes committed by the duo. Mukamulisa was granted bail owing to the fact that she is nursing an infant child. According to military prosecution, the three soldiers offered protection for Nishimwe and Ndayishimiye while they raped women, while Ntakaziraho and Mukamulisa guided them on which people to assault from the community. In a bail ruling held on 13th May, court remanded all the 6, saying there was reasonable ground to believe they committed a number of crimes. However, during the pre-trial hearing, the judge absolved all the accused of the crime of creating or being part of a criminal group saying there is no evidence showing such a group existed. The five soldiers decided to appeal, while civilian Ntakaziraho chose not to. Appearing in court Thursday, the five soldiers did not have their lawyer and said they were not ready to enter plea without him. This prompted court to postpone the appeal hearing to tomorrow Friday May 22. The soldiers said they did not know the reason why Moses Sebudandi their lawyer had not shown up.

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