Trial of Aline Ndikumana charged with “illegal possession of firearms” adjourned

Aline Ndikumana accused of illegally possessing firearms has appeared again this 18 March before the Muha Court of appeal. The court has adjourned her case for further deliberation.

Mrs. Ndikumana’s defense says that she is a victim of her husband’s political affiliation

After she was provisionally released by the Minister of Justice, Aline Ndikumana, spouse of the secretary of the opposition CNL party in Nyabiraba commune, has appeared before the Court of Appeal of Muha commune this Wednesday March 18, 2020. She is prosecuted for “illegal possession of firearms”.

The hearing focused on hearing witnesses, a request made at the public hearing of March 6, 2020.

It was to find out the real owner of the location of the hole in which 4 grenades, 30 cartridges wrapped in plastic bags and old clothes belonging to this woman’s family were found.

Two witnesses who were present in this trial all demonstrated that this hole was dug by the son of the neighbor of this family, at the edge of the location, to make adobe bricks.

The witnesses add that these neighbors even planted a banana tree there.
The prosecution had only one witness, the chief of Musenyi locality where those two houses are located. He did not deny these facts.

He also said that the search which was conducted where the firearms were discovered was not carried out in the entire locality.

According to him, the investigations were only conducted in the plot belonging to the family of this woman accused of ‘’illegal possession of firearms ” and sentenced to 2 years in prison with a BIF 100, 000 fine.
Another fact reported by witnesses is that the plastic bags and old clothes containing those 4 grenades and 30 cartridges found in the morning were dry, when it had been raining all night.

“It is not understandable at all that all of the packaging presented was not wet. This proves that the guns found in that hole had been brought from elsewhere to accuse this woman”.

Another witness will say that he saw nothing when he went to get firewood near this hole. “There was even a piglet that fell in. But at the time it was recovered from that hole, these weapons were not there.”

On the basis of the above testimonies, the defense requested that their client be acquitted as even the hill chief who testified on behalf of the prosecution did not disagree with the defense witnesses.

“There is no tangible proof against our client. She is a victim of her husband’s political affiliation,’’ said Jean-Claude Mpitarusuma, Mrs. Ndikumana’s lawyer.

Despite these testimonies, the Public Prosecutor has maintained the charges and still requested a sentence of 2 years in prison and a BIF 100,000 fine.

By Mariette Rigumye