The sentence was read yesterday as the court announced the ruling yesterday for the case involving Mudathiru and 31 co-accused suspects belonging to P5 and FLN terror groups.
The suspects are segmented into two groups mainly the group comprising of 25 led by Rtd Major Mudathiru Habib (a former RDF soldier) facing charges including formation and being part of an irregular armed group or joining it, conspiracy against the established Government or the President of the Republic, maintaining relations with a foreign government with the intent to wage a war and formation of or joining a criminal group.
They were captured in 2019 in terrorism activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), as part of an intensified campaign by the Congolese military against militia groups operating in the country. The 25 suspects were extradited to on 18th June 2019.
Another suspect connected to the case is Pte a Jean Bosco Ruhinda who escaped to DRC forests. He was tried in absentia because he has not yet been captured.
Another group connected to the case includes Corporal Viateur, Corporal Jean Bosco Dusabimana and Private Champagnat Igitego led by Pte Dieudonné Muhire.
They are accused along with two civilians Pacifique Muhire and Richard Nzafashwanimana.
The group is accused of escaping the military, conspiracy against the Government or intending to overthrowing it by means of war or other powers, formation of a criminal group and subsequently seducing new recruits, and taking part of terror group’s activities.
During the previous hearing, the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) Military Prosecution requested life sentence for 32 people accused of working with terror groups including P5 and FLN observing that they were all involved in coordinated terror activities.
The court read that Mudathiru pleaded guilty for accusations, accepted to have received support from Burundi, trained P5 militia to wage a war to Rwanda.
The fact that he pleaded guilty served the court to hand him a lenient punishment of 25-year jail term along with other co-accused including Pte Ruhinda Jean Bosco and Pte Muhire Dieudonné.
Nsanzimana Patrick and Lubwama Suleiman (a Ugandan) were handed 20-year sentence.
Other 18 suspects have been sentenced for 15 years while one suspect was acquitted of all charges. More three suspects have been handed 8-year sentence while two have been sentenced for five years.
Among others, Corporal Dusabimana Jean Bosco has been handed 1 year and six month sentence.
A motorcyclist, Nzafashwanimana Richard who was among accused suspects had been handed four-year sentence convicted of helping soldiers to escape.