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Rwanda: Former Minister Bamporiki Sentenced to Five Years in Jail

Former Minister of state for culture, Edouard Bamporiki was on Monday sentenced to five years in jail and ordered to pay a fine worth Rwf30 million by the Kigali-based High Court.

The decision was in response to appeal cases filed by both the prosecution and the defendant challenging a verdict issued by the intermediate court of Nyarugenge in September last year, which sentenced him to 4 years in jail for crimes related to misuse of the authority given to him by the law.

The out-spoken politician was suspended from office in May last year amid investigations on charges of receiving a bribe worth Rwf 5million from local businessman Norbert Gatera, on promise of helping him reopen his closed alcohol factory.

In addition to this, the prosecutors said that he had earlier taken a bribe worth Rwf 10 million from the same person, promising to help him get his wife out of Police custody. Gatera’s wife was facing charges related to corruption at that time.

After more than 3 months of being held under house arrest (from May to September), Bamporiki was arraigned before the intermediate court of Nyarugenge, which found him guilty of fraudulent acquisition of another person’s property and abuse of the authority given to him by the law.

He was subsequently sentenced to four years in jail and ordered to pay a fine worth Rwf 60 million, a decision that both the prosecution and defendant appealed against.

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Among other things, his appeal was based on a claim that the prosecution failed to explain how he abused the authority given to him by the law, thus, he asked the judges to drop this particular charge against him.

For the charge of fraudulent acquisition of another person’s property to which he had pleaded guilty, his lawyer Jean-Baptiste Habyarimana called for a suspended jail term and reduction of the Rwf 60 million fine to Rwf 30 million.

However, during a High Court ruling that took place on Monday, the judges resolved that his appeal did not have reasonable grounds since there was enough evidence pinning him to having committed both crimes.

They thus handed him a 5-year jail term.

More about the case:

According to the prosecutors, early last year, Bamporiki approached Gatera, informing him that his gin factory would be closed since it was situated in a residential area.