Rwandan musician, Kizito Mihigo faces life imprisonment

 Kizito Mihigo

Kizito Mihigo

Rwandan state prosecutor has demanded a life sentence for popular musician, Kizito Mihigo, who has been accused of planning the assassination of President Paul Kagame.

“Mihigo and Ntamuhanga [his co-accused] particularly committed the crime of conspiracy to murder. Given that Mihigo and Ntamuhanga are accused of murder, a crime whose sentence amounts to a life, we therefore seek a life sentence for each of them,” state prosecutor, Boniface Budengeri, said in court.

Mihigo and his three co-accused face charges including forming a criminal gang, conspiracy to murder, complicity in a terrorist act and conspiring against the Rwandan president.

He was arrested in April along with his three co-accused – ex-soldier Jean Paul Dukuzumuremyi; Cassien Ntamuhanga, the program director of a Christian radio station; and Agnes Niyibizi, a student and former receptionist, who have denied all charges.

The court is due to deliver its verdict on February 27, 2015.

In April, the police said the four had planned attacks in retaliation for the assassination of Rwanda’s former Chief of External Intelligence Patrick Karegeya, who was found dead in a Johannesburg luxury hotel on New Year’s Day.

Karegeya was a severe critic of President Kagame and lived in exile in South Africa when he was murdered.

Mihigo, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, is famous for his religious songs and used to be close to the governing Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). His arrest in April came as a shock to many Rwandans as RTF was close to the government.

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