Rwandan Opposition Leader Goes on Trial

Posted September 5th, 2011 at 10:31 am (UTC-5)
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The trial of Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire has resumed in the capital, Kigali.

Ingabire, who appeared in court wearing a pink prison jumpsuit and with a shaved head, is charged with inciting ethnic divisions to cause state insecurity.

During Monday's hearing the prosecution asked for a delay in the trial, which has already been postponed twice. Defense lawyers for Ingabire pleaded with the judge to continue the case.

Prosecutors allege that Ingabire, and several co-defendants, provided financial assistance to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Hutu rebel group that had a role in the country's 1994 genocide.

She has previously denied all the charges, saying they are an act of political intimidation.

Ingabire is the leader of the United Democratic Forces (UDF) party. She was detained last year, shortly after returning to Rwanda from exile in the Netherlands.

Ingabire, a staunch critic of President Paul Kagame, has been criticized for calling for the prosecution of those responsible for the death of Hutus during the genocide.

A group of genocide survivors called on the government to prosecute the opposition leader, saying her pronouncement belittled the genocide in which hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were killed.