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Rwanda: Ex minister jailed over graft after losing appeal

Rwanda’s appeal court on Monday ordered former state minister Edouard Bamporiki to begin a five-year prison sentence after upholding a guilty conviction on charges related to abusing his authority while in office.The appeal case was filed by all sides to the case namely the defendant and the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA).

During the process of investigation and prosecution, Bamporiki was never in custody, as the relevant authorities decided to apply house arrest on him. 

However, if the high Court decides to not give him the suspended sentence he asked for, he will be heading to jail.

In September this year, the intermediate court of Nyarugenge in Kigali city sentenced Bamporiki to a 4-year jail term after he was convicted of two counts of fraudulent acquisition of another person’s property and abusing the authority given to him by the law.

Previously, the prosecution had sought a 20-year sentence and a fine of 60 million Rwandan Francs ($ 60,000 USD), but the defense team had asked for a suspended sentence on grounds that his client had pleaded guilty and had been cooperative throughout the trial.

One member of the defense team, Jean-Baptiste Habyarimana told the court recently that their appeal was based on three things which is requesting the withdrawal of the charge of abusing authority, reducing a $ 60,000 fine and getting a suspended sentence for the charge of fraudulent acquisition of another person’s property.

According to the defense team, the fine is not justifiable and based on the nature of the crimes as well as what the law provides, it should have been reduced by half instead.

Bamporiki was suspended from the cabinet on May 5 and placed under house arrest following allegations of his alleged involvement in corruption.

Published on 03.01.2023

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