, Oct 19 – A Rwandan court on Friday put off its verdict in the trial of opposition figure Victoire Ingabire, accused of bankrolling terrorism and denying the 1994 genocide, until October 30, the third such postponement.
The court justified this latest postponement by saying it had expected to have two clear weeks after a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of one of the laws under which Ingabire is being prosecuted.
But the Supreme Court decision was postponed for two weeks and was not issued until Thursday, rejecting Ingabire’s case.
“It is in this context that we need more time to come up with a clear verdict that is in line with the Supreme Court decision on genocide ideology,” judge Alice Rulisa said Friday.
Ingabire, who has been in custody for two years, had filed a suit in March contesting the legality of Rwanda’s genocide ideology laws.
The Supreme Court said Thursday it found no contradiction between the genocide ideology law and the constitution. “It is true the constitution grants freedom of expression and speech but the genocide ideology law puts limitations to avoid violations of the freedoms,” the nine-man panel of judges said.
The genocide denial charges against Ingabire were triggered by remarks she made in January 2010 at the memorial to the estimated 800,000 people, the majority of them Tutsis, who were killed in the slaughter.
Ingabire, herself a Hutu and the leader of the Unified Democratic Forces (FDU), a political grouping that has not been allowed to register as a party, said it was time Hutu war victims were also commemorated.