Former Rwandan Prime Minister jailed 3 years over dull cheques
London, Nov. 29, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Former Rwandan Prime Minister, Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, is set to serve a three-year jail term and pay a fine of Rwf892.2 million after being convicted of issuing bounced cheques.
Habumuremyi, who was detained at Nyarugenge Prison in Mageragere, attended the ruling virtually.
The former Premier was arrested in July this year, after being accused of issuing bounced cheques and breach of trust.
On the latter charge, the court ruled that the prosecution did not provide enough evidence to render the suspect guilty, therefore pronouncing him not guilty of breach of trust
However, on the other charge, the judge noted that there was sufficient proof that when Habumuremyi issued the cheques he was aware that there was no sufficient money in the account to credit it.
“One of the evidence is that the accused himself admitted at many occasions that he was aware of the cheques being bounced,” the judge said.
Stating the charges against him in recent court hearings, the prosecution said Habumuremyi issued bounced cheques totalling about Rwf170 million to different people on behalf of his now-defunct Christian University of Rwanda
In his defence, Habumuremyi always pleaded not guilty of the charge saying that the cheques the university issued were not exactly meant for payments, but rather were a form of commitment to the creditors to demonstrate that the university owed them money.
In response, the prosecution would note that the former Prime Minister shouldn’t claim that there was no agreement between both parties to that effect, adding that “every collateral should be registered and approved by the Registrar General, which did not happen in this case.”
Friday’s verdict can be appealed if any of the parties is not satisfied, not later than 30 days after the ruling.
Before his arrest, Habumuremyi was the Chairperson of the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honour (CHENO).