Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Rwandan government critic acquitted of 'baseless' insurrection charges

Rwandan government critic acquitted of 'baseless' insurrection charges

"I am very happy with the court decision".

Since Rwigara's arrest a year ago, her brothers and sister have been interrogated, family assets have been forcibly auctioned to pay off a multi-million dollar tax claim, while a hotel the family owned was demolished for allegedly failing to abide by city guidelines.

Diane Rwigara was also charged with "forging or adjustment of documents" and "use of counterfeited documents", while her mother, Adeline, faced an additional charge of "discrimination and sectarian practices".

But in a surprise judgment, the court found that both members of the Rwigara family were innocent. "I am continuing with my political journey. because there's still a lot that needs to be done in our country".

Undeterred, the budding politician launched her own political party called the People Salvation Movement, but the police raided the family home - detained the accountant and her mother for the following 12 months.

USA senators in recent days urged Rwanda's government to drop the charges against her, with Sen.

But it added: "We condemn all attempts by external actors to inappropriately influence judicial processes in Rwanda".

Grace Millane disappearance now a homicide investigation, police say
The revelation follows a forensic examination of a hotel where she was last seen on Saturday 1 December with a "male companion". Her family have been left "devastated" by the development, Auckland City Police Detective Inspector Scott Beard said.

Amnesty International welcomes the acquittal of Diane Rwigara and her mother Adeline and says they should never have been charged and imprisoned for more than a year. She faced 22 years behind bars if convicted.

Speaking to The Associated Press ahead of her court appearance, Rwigara remained defiant, saying no amount of pressure will silence her.

Diane Rwigara, 37, was arrested after challenging longtime President Paul Kagame in last year's election.

"I hope to be cleared of all these made-up charges but I am ready for any outcome", she said earlier this week. Diane Rwigara said that the images were digitally manipulated.

Rwigara later was disqualified from running, with the government saying she lacked enough supporting signatures and had forged some of them.

Paul Kagame, the country's towering, beanpole-like president, has been widely praised for his role in providing stability and economic growth after Rwanda's catastrophic genocide in 1994.

The Rwigara family assets and stock of their tobacco company have been auctioned off by the country's revenue authority which said it was recovering unpaid taxes. Kagame won a third term with more than 98 percent of the vote.

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