Africa

Victoire Ingabire boycotts Rwanda terror trial

  • 17 April 2012
  • From the section Africa
Rwandan opposition leader, Victoire Ingabire in court
Image caption Victoire Ingabire was arrested three months after returning from exile

Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire says she is boycotting her terror trial, accusing the judge of bias.

Her lawyer says he will also stop attending hearings, after the testimony of a defence witness was cut short.

She is accused of propagating ethnic hatred and "genocide revisionism" - charges she says are politically motivated.

She was arrested in April 2010 and barred from standing in elections.

"I cannot carry on with this case," she told judges on Monday.

"My trust in the judiciary has waned. I and my legal representatives will not report to this court any more."

Her British defence lawyer Iain Edwards said the boycott came after a rebel colonel was interrupted while accusing the Rwandan intelligence services of offering money to rebels to make false claims against Ms Ingabire.

She is also accused of transferring money to the mainly ethnic Hutu FDLR rebels, based in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The FDLR's Col Michel Habimana also testified that the charges were solely intended to bar Ms Ingabire from the August 2010 elections, Mr Edwards said, according to the AFP news agency.

The Unified Democratic Forces leader returned from exile in the Netherlands in January 2010.

She is a Hutu and has questioned why the official memorial to the 1994 genocide does not include any Hutus.

Most of the 800,000 people killed were ethnic Tutsis but Hutu moderates were also slaughtered by the Hutu extremists.

President Paul Kagame, the former rebel leader whose Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) put an end to the genocide, won a second term in office in August 2010 with 93% of the vote.

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