In court sitting where neither audio nor visual recording gadgets were allowed to be used by journalists, who were as well cautioned against conducting interviews in the precincts of the court, the presiding judge started by asking whether the suspects admit to the accusations preferred against them to which they pleaded not guilty.
The defense Lawyer, Pierre Celestin Buhuru, thanked the court that granted him access to the dossier, though, he said, he was denied to take copies.
Buhuru told court that Adeline Rwigara declined to be represented by him and, instead, preferred a different lawyer and so he would go ahead with defending only Anne Rwigara and Diane Rwigara.
Adeline Rwigara told court that Buhuru would be overburdened as the case files he has to peruse are so thick for a single advocate. She asked for a list of lawyers from which she picked some names but none was present in the court.
Prosecution described Adeline’s concern as delaying tactics over flimsy excuses and requested the presiding judge to reject any other claim that could delay the hearing saying that all defendants are aware of the charges leveled against them.
Prosecution also informed court that they are yet to get to charge details, being the reason for not giving full dossier to the defense, but the little they were given would allow them to file defense, a claim one defendant, Adeline, rejected saying they only got the file on Tuesday.
New lawyer, more time
Adeline Rwigara requested to be defended by a new lawyer, upon which request Gatera Gashabana was identified.
She also requested more time to read the dossier and requested for money to pay the new lawyer because all the money they had was seized by Police.
The defense lawyer informed court that he still lacks access to some of the accused dossier information including audio records and whatsApp messages alleged to have been obtained from his clients.
The Judge rejected the claim saying that they decided on audio and short messages in last hearing, but agreed to Adeline’s request of a new lawyer.
Buhuru prayed to court that audio records that are not in the dossier he accessed should be disqualified from the list of exhibits.
The hearing was adjourned to Friday 13th October, 2017.
Like during the previous hearing, court was filled to the brim, with security tightened as police conducted body checks of every person entering the court room.