Rwandese opposition leader remanded in prison for "terrorism act"

07:53, July 09, 2010      

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At least 14 people, including opposition leader Bernard Ntaganda of the Social Party (PS) who was willing to stand for Rwanda's next presidential election set for August 9 this year, have been remanded in custody on Thursday by the intermediate court of Nyarugenge in Kigali.

The remand came as investigations progressed into causes of their illegal organization of demonstrations in the capital city.

However, Bernard Ntaganda, who is a lawyer by profession, told earlier the intermediate court of Kigali that all the four charges against him were "malicious" and fabricated to derail his political comeback.

The arrest came on June 23 this year after the Rwandan police proceed to the arrest of 60 protestors mainly the opposition coalition supporters who gathered at the police headquarters in Kigali.

The "terrorism acts" and fragmentation among the opposition group have already hampered their plans to challenge the incumbent Rwandan leader Paul Kagame of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) who is set to run for the second term of 7 years.

The ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), a former rebel group, which has held power after stopping the genocide against Tutsis 16 years ago, has already appointed the incumbent President Kagame to seek for the re-election during the next presidential poll.

Kagame will face three challengers from the existing registered political parties of the tiny central African nation.

Meanwhile, the 14 people arrested told court that they were physically abused and beaten by police officers and most of them appeared in court with a badly injuries.

In a telephone interview with Xinhua, police spokesman Eric Kayiranga refuted these allegations, arguing that the accused were looking for "scapegoats" of their crimes in order to be released.

"All these allegations (made by the opposition) are likely to mislead the general public", Kayiranga told Xinhua.

A total of 5.5 million Rwandese are expected to vote in the election, representing 56.6 percent of the country's population, according to the National Electoral Commission (COMELENA).

Source: Xinhua


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