FLN Spokesmen Return to Court Tomorrow: What Is Known About the Case

L-R: Nsabimana Callixte and Herman Nsengimana

It is already more than one year since the self-proclaimed Major and former spokesperson of National Forces for Liberation (FLN), Callixte Nsabimana was arrested in Comoros Islands in April 2019.

Nsabimana was in the same month extradited to Rwanda to face justice over 16 criminal offences committed on Rwandan territory including terrorism, arson, Formation of an irregular armed group in Nyungwe National Park, taking citizens hostage, murder and looting.

The former FLN spokesman, pleaded guilty to all 16 charges and agreeed to give in-depth revelations in latter pre-hearing appearances.

These include listing some the officials (such as Hotel Rwanda film ‘hero’ Paul Rusesabagina with whom he confessed having worked with.

He spoke about how he recruited several Rwandans for the group and took orders from P5, another armed group based in DR Congo and Burundi to mount attacks on Rwanda.

His case was later on transferred to Nyanza based High Court Chamber for International Crimes.

Bring Trial with “My Boss”

While in his cells in Nyanza in January 2020, Nsabimana heard about the arrest of his follow spokesman, self-decorated ‘Captain’ Herman Nsengimana, who succeeded him and it started becoming obvious that his would soon become a case of Nsabimana and Co.

This was only the beginning because another suspect was on his way.

In September 2020, while appearing in Nyanza court on zoom, Nsabimana said he wanted to stand a same-trial with his boss-Paul Rusesabagina, who lived in Belgium and sometimes in the US  but was also arrested in Rwanda in August 2020.

Rusesabagina was on the list of suspects Rwanda wanted extradited to stand a trial over financing terrorism activities.

Nsabinama insisted even from the earlier pre-hearing trials that Rusesabagina was his Boss- operating under his instruction in an armed terrorist organisation the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) – founded by Rusesabagina and other senior officials of similar terror group in the great lakes region.

The National Public Prosecution Authority had also submitted a similar request to High Court Chamber of International and Cross-border Crimes to have a joint trial of all the three suspects.

This Tuesday – January 26, the trio is expected to appear in a digital court room, following the decision of the High Court Chamber to have the joint in-depth trial.

The High Court will have to lay ground on linking the criminal charges connecting the three suspects which also will bring in their affiliation to a South African based group- Rwanda National Congress (RNC).

Court will also have to cross examine evidence from Nsabimana’s claims that besides being paid by Rusesabagina, he was also aided by Zambian government to overthrow the Rwandan government.

Court is also expected to hear submissions of Lawyer Yousuf Ndutiye, who represents interests of victims of the attacks manned on Rwandan soil in 2018-2019, that left some dead, property lost among others.




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