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Rwanda: Jailed ex PM seeks provisional release

Ex Rwandan Prime Minister, Pierre Damien Habumuremyi currently serving three years in jail for issuing bounced cheques on Tuesday requested…

Ex Rwandan Prime Minister, Pierre Damien Habumuremyi currently serving three years in jail for issuing bounced cheques on Tuesday requested for his provisional release while arguing that his imprisonment was not decided by a competent court.Dr Habumuremyi, who served as prime minister from October 2011 to July  2014, was arrested in July last year when he went to police offices in Kigali to respond to allegations connected with issuing the cheques.

In March this year, the Appeal court in Kigali was set to assess the convictions, but the defense team led by Jean Pierre Kayitare and Erneste Bayisabe didn’t show up on the initial hearings due to personal reasons.

However, the prosecutor opposes the request due to, inter alia, the applicant addressing the wrong instance with his motion to the Appeals Chamber.  

For the prosecutor, the Appeals Chamber was no longer involved in the case thus the defendant should serve the sentence meted out to him.

Former Prime Minister Habumuremyi is in debt amounting to over Rwf1.5 billion owed to different creditors including suppliers, employees and commercial banks among others.

The alleged crimes were committed between 2018 and 2019 when he was the rector and owner of Christian University of Rwanda.

Habumuremyi who has business units in hospitality is alleged to have issued bounced cheques, and APA listed a number of incidents during which he issued them last year.

On May 30, 2019, he issued a  bounced cheque worth Rwf28 million, and on November 30 during the same year he issued another worth Rwf38 million.

The following year,  2020, on March 4, he issued a rubber cheque worth Rwf17.5 million, and on June 30 during the same period he issued another of Rwf10.7  million.

According to reports, Habumuremyi was on several occasions summoned by different entities, advising him to address the issues he had with creditors and stop the habit of issuing bounced cheques but this persisted.

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