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Prince Kid’s Trial: What’s Next?

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
5:19 pm

Ishimwe Dieudonme a.k.a Prince Kid

Twenty-eight days have elapsed since the former organizer of Miss Rwanda contest Ishimwe Dieudonnée famously known as Prince Kid was sentenced to five years in jail.

On October 13, the ruling was made by the High court after finding Kid guilty of rape and soliciting sexual favours among the contestants of Miss Rwanda, as organizer of the event under his Company-Rwanda Inspiration Backup.

The ruling in high court was a shock because Ishimwe was released earlier on December 2nd, 2022 after Nyarugenge Intermediate Court cleared him of all charges, a decision the prosecution appealed against.

Prince Kid’s lawyer Emeline Nyembo told Kigali Today this evening, that till date, her client has not taken any official decision around the ruling. She however added that she would not have a lot to comment at this level, much as she only implements decisions of his client.

A lawyer who spoke to KT Press said that at this level, there are three options to watch in Prince Kid ruling.

First one is the application for review of the trial.

The Law nº 027/2019 of 19/09/2019 relating to the criminal procedure defines the review as a procedure that aims to annul a judgment that has become final and re-try the case on the grounds provided under this Law.

In article 197 this law provides grounds where the review applies.

It can be an option if for example, after the accused is convicted of an offence, and it is subsequently found that there is a judgment sentencing another person for the same offence, so that the contradiction between both judgments shows that one of the convicted persons is innocent.

It’s also possible if the court finds that corruption was involved in the case and had effects on the judgment.

One can also ask for review of the case if the judgment was rendered on the basis of documents, testimonies or oaths which later turn out to be or are subsequently declared false by the court after the judgment.

It can equally apply if, after the judgment, new conclusive evidence sufficiently showing injustice caused by judgment subject to review is revealed.

Article 201 of this law however provides that the case review does not prevent a judgment from being executed, unless the execution is suspended by the court seized for review.

Second attempt to explore in this trial could be to find whether this case can make it to the court of appeal.

According to the article 52 of the law n°30/2018 of 02/06/2018 determining the jurisdiction of courts, the cases tried at court of appeal are those that were tried at the first instance by the High Court, the Commercial High Court and the Military High Court.

But, the case will be accepted if for example it has an impact on national security or if the high court ordered penalties which are not provided by law.

It can also be the case if penalties were decided based on a non-existing law, or refer to repealed legal provisions or are tried by a court lacking jurisdiction.

This can also apply if the ruling was pronounced by a judge other than the one having heard it or if it was tried in public while no in-camera hearing is ordered.

The appeal however, can be accepted for cases where the accused was convicted to 15 years in jail.

A third option include possible review of the judgement over injustice.

The article 66 of this law however, provides that the review of the case following allegation of injustice will not stop the execution of the ruling of the high court, unless the President of High Court advises otherwise.

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