Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Friday adjourned the hearing of the case involving the suspended State Minister in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Edouard Bamporiki, to September 31, to allow the defendant to appear with his lawyer who was not available.
Bamporiki, who is facing charges of corruption of corruption, briefly appeared in the Nyamirambo-based court but the judge immediately adjourned the hearing because the defendant’s lawyer had informed court that he would not be available because the court date coincided with the Rwanda Bar Association (BAR) elections which took place on Friday.
The youthful Minister briefly appeared alone before the Judge, clad in a navy-blue suit but seemed to be aware that the hearing will not commence. The former Member of Parliament and head of the National Itorero Commission is accused of soliciting a bribe from a businessman, promising to help him secure documents from the City of Kigali.
He was suspended by President Paul Kagame through an announcement made by the Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente, stating that he was suspended on matters of accountability under investigation.
The state minister, known for his oratory skills and eloquence, took to Twitter to admit that he was tempted to take a bribe, against the values of the country and the appointing authority, stating that he was remorseful.
He begged for forgiveness but in a subsequent tweet, responding to a Twitter user who urged Bamporiki to never repeat the same mistake if he is given a second chance, President Kagame said that the issue is not giving someone a second chance, but rather how many chances can one be given if they continue repeating the same mistake.
However, unlike other corruption cases, Bamporiki was neither arrested nor dropped from his docket but was instead placed under house arrest. On July 7, Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) revealed it had submitted his file to the National Prosecution Authority (NPPA).
If he is convicted by the court, Bamporiki would serve an imprisonment of not less than 5 years but not more than 7 years and a fine of three to five times the value of the bribe received.