Mbarushimana raises critics over violating his rights

The National Prosecutor has rejected Emmanuel Mbarushimana’s wish to postpone his trial for a period of two months is rejected by the prosecutor saying it is baseless.

The trial involving Mbarushimana’s role in Genocide against Tutsis in 1994 is few days away to close, and it was shaped by arguments between the prosecution and the suspect to see whether the judge could rule out the decision he took on closing the trial as soon as possible.

It was the second time Mbarushimana had not appeared before court claiming he is sick, accusing the prison authorities of being less interested in taking him to the hospital for medical treatment. He, however, has no proof that he was sick.

The judge in charge decided that Mbarushimana was trying to delay the trial, saying that he could miss the chance of being tried, and immediately concluded that the trial should be closed.

However, after taking this decision, the judge asked the prosecution to hold investigations in the prison where the defendant stays to know whether he was really sick.

Charity Wibabara, the prosecution representative in this trial, told the court that Mbarushimana was really sick. He said that, following the process of shifting inmates from Nyarugenge Prison to Mageragere prison, resulted to shifting foreign ones to Mpanga prison, causing delay on taking Mbarushimana to the hospital.

Me Jean Claude Shoshi Bizimana, one of the team in charge of justice interests told the judge that Mbarushimana’s absence before court should be a blame on him, which could clear from him the right to defend his allegations. Bizimana reminded the judge that he didn’t have enough information about Mbarushimana’s situation, that he should cancel his decision and let the trial to continue.

Antoine Muhima and his judiciary team, held a short meeting, and reminded the defendant’s side that they have no proof that Mbarushimana was sick since he announced it on February 20, and that there was no reason that could push the judge to shift it on February 22nd.

Muhima also reminded Mbarushimana’s lawyer that the defendant should be available before court, if not, the trial would continue with the lawyer alone

Mbarushimana appeared in a dark and angry face, and angrily told the judge, “I would like to say that the decision doesn’t seem surprising to me because it has been as usual that my opinion would change nothing on the decisions. This is being done for the purpose to violate my chance of defending myself against the accusations.” He immediately appealed for the decision.

He immediately handed the letter to the judge asking for shifting the trial to the next two months.

The judge told the defendant’s side that the court has already taken the decisions on whatever they ask and that they cannot clear out the arguments in the trial.

The defendant’s side has long been heard claiming that rejecting their inquiry of a two-month period is a court’s discouraging decision, and a strategy to violate their right to self-defense before the court, according to VOA reports.

The defendant’s two-month request to prepare for a fresh trial was completely rejected, saying it is baseless since it was submitted with delay.

Emmanuel Mbarushimana, 55, is accused of 5 major crimes on Genocide and ethnicity, committed Muganza Commune, Butare Province in 1994. It is currently in Gisagara District in Southern Province. However, Mbarushimana who was deported to Rwanda from Denmark in 2014, denies all allegations.

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@Fred Irakoze

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