President Paul Kagame has on Friday wholly commuted the prison sentences of musician Kizito Mihigo who had been sentenced to 10 years and Ingabire Victoire who had been sentenced to 15 years.
According to a government statement released by the Ministry of Justice, both Kizito Mihigo and Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza’s remaining period sentences were commuted by Presidential prerogative following their most recent applications for clemency in June this year.
“Pursuant to the powers conferred upon him, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Rwanda informed the Cabinet Meeting that he granted mercy to the following persons: Mr. KIZITO Mihigo, who was serving a ten (10) year sentence by the High Court in case N0 RP 0014/14/HC/kig is wholly commuted; Ms. INGABIRE Victoire Umuhoza who was serving a fifteen (15) years sentence by the Supreme Court in case N0 RPA 0255/12/CS is wholly commuted,” the statement read in part
Mihigo was in February 2015 convicted to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to crimes including conspiracy to murder President Paul Kagame and other top leaders of the country.
On her part, Ingabire had in 2013 had her conviction upheld on appeal by Supreme Court, which saw her lower court eight-year sentence increased to 15 years in prison.
Arrested in 2010, Ingabire was convicted for inciting the masses to revolt against the government, forming armed groups to destabilise the country, and minimising the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Ingabire was convicted on evidence, including some furnished to Rwandan judicial authorities by the Dutch government, attesting to the fact that she was fundraising for FDLR, a terror group linked to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
She had for many years lived in The Netherlands, where she had been naturalised a citizen.
In total, the beneficiaries to the president clemency are 2,140 convicts from different parts of the country, majority of whom from Huye District, where 484 got early release.
23 others are from Bugesera district, 447 in Nyarugenge, Musanze 149, Gicumbi 65, Nyanza 63, Rubavu 158, Rwamagana 455, Nyagatare 24, Muhanga 207, Ngoma 35, Rusizi 7 and 23 from Nyamagabe district in Southern Rwanda.
Articles 245 and 246 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provide for the release on parole of a convict who has served at least one-third of a sentence of less than 5 years, or two-thirds of a sentence greater than 5 years (or at least 20 years in the case of a life sentence), provided at least one of the different conditions stipulated under the law are met.
The Express News