Ingabire Victoire’s request for rehabilitation rejected

By Esther Muhozi
On 14 March 2024 at 02:18

The High Court of Kigali has denied rehabilitation to Ingabire Umuhoza Victoire, stating that her appeal was not filed within the required timeframe as stipulated by legal provisions.

Ingabire requested the High Court to be granted rehabilitation after serving a sentence of 15 years in prison since her conviction on October 12, 2013.

At that time, she was convicted of both conspiracy against the government and belittling the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and intentional spreading of rumors.

The prosecution informed the court that Ingabire should not be granted rehabilitation because after her release, she engaged in activities that were not in line with what the President’s pardon had envisaged.

The prosecution also demonstrated that Ingabire continued to act as a leader of the FDU-Inkingi party and the DALFA-Umurinzi party, both of which are considered illegal organizations in the country.

The court considered whether five years would be enough for someone granted clemency to observe good conduct.

It was also pointed out that during that period, from the day she was released on parole or early release, her behavior would be monitored.

The prosecution argued that the second condition of the President’s pardon, granting Presidential Pardon, required Ingabire to apply for parole and disclose her place of residence.

Other conditions included a prohibition from traveling abroad while requesting permission from the Minister of Justice to leave the country during her parole period until her sentence was completed.

The provision suggests that everyone granted clemency by the President must fulfill what they are required to do.

The court ruled that even though the law requires a request for clemency, it is only after five years of parole that the conditions set must be met.

The court further ruled that if there are conditions for parole and presidential pardon, and they are not contradictory, rehabilitation should be granted.

It was also emphasized that she must start by complying with the conditions set by the President’s Order before applying for rehabilitation.

The court stated that her rehabilitation plea must be considered after the parole period.

Her 15-year sentence was to end in 2025. This means that the time for her to apply for clemency is in 2030.

Victoire Ingabire, after her trial, told reporters that she was not satisfied with the verdict where she can continue to count on her lawyers to to the court in two years or appeal to the East African Court.

The High Court has rejected Ingabire Victoire’s request for rehabilitation.