Mutabazi’s lawyer quits over client’s ‘contradictions’
The lawyer of embattled terror suspect Lt. Joel Mutabazi, on Wednesday surprised High Military Court Judges in Kanombe by throwing in the towel over what she said was ‘her client’s contradictions’
Lt. Mutabazi’s lawyer, Antoinette Mukamusoni told a fully-packed military court yesterday that ‘‘she could not manage defending a suspect who does not stand by his word.”
“We had earlier agreed after discussing the case together that the suspect should not plead guilty but when he appeared in court, he surprised me by pleading guilty, then again pleading not guilty.
He has also decided to maintain silence, so I have no business in this trial and I request to leave,” Said a visibly disappointed Mukamusoni.
Mukamusoni told Court that Lt. Mutabazi was “full of surprises” and that he would have to look for another representative in court.
In an earlier hearing, Mutabazi first surprised his lawyer by giving contradictory statements, where he even, at some point denied having deserted the army.
However, earlier in the day, Diane Gasengayire, Mutabazi’s sister-in-law and a co-accused revealed how she lied about Mutabazi’s desertion from the military.
Gasengayire told court that she was asked by her sister Gloria (Mutabazi’s wife) to get two bullets which she never did and that someone else provided them.
When the judges asked Mutabazi to react to the accusation, he just said: “I do not trust this Woman; she betrayed me and made me get arrested.”
She (Gasengayire) later revealed to court how she lied to the authorities on Mutabazi’s deserting from the Army.
“When you deserted J2 called me asking me about your whereabouts and I lied that you had gone to Uganda to preach the gospel. When you left Rwanda, I took care of your property and when your wife gave birth, I travelled to Uganda several times to take care of her and then you stand here and accuse me of betrayal?”Asked Gasengayire.
The court has decided to visit Mutamba’s home in Rwamagana, a scene where the pistol that was allegedly used to shoot on Mutabazi’s home in Uganda had been hidden to redo the events and determine whether Mutamba dug up the pistol and how it was given to Mutabazi’s brother.
This website run a story about the Pistol incident here: http://www.newsofrwanda.com/english/22133/family-members-accuse-lt-joel-mutabazi-of-stage-managing-his-shooting-in-uganda/
Mutabazi and his 15 co-accused are before the Military High Court in Kanombe, Kigali, to answer terrorism-related charges.
The suspect is charged with deserting the military, terrorism, crimes against the state; attempt to harm the person of the President, murder, illegal possession of a firearm, spreading rumours with intent to incite the public to rise up against the state and formation of an armed group.