Court acquits Sendashonga accused

Three men accused of killing former Rwandan interior minister Seth Sendashonga were set free on Thursday by a Kenyan court, which blamed the Rwandan government for the murder, the Internews press service reported. The High Court Judge, Msagha Mbogholi, ruled that Sendashonga’s murder was political. He said the suspects - David Akiki Kiwanuka, Charles Muhanji Wamuthoni and Christopher Lubanga Mulondo - were not at the scene where Sendashonga and his driver were murdered in Nairobi’s Parklands suburb on 16 May 1998. The judge said the Kenyan government had failed to prove that the three, who have been in custody since May 1998, murdered the former minister and his driver, Jean Bosco Nkurubukeye.

“The late Sendashonga fell out with the Rwandan authorities and resigned as a minister. He must have known a lot about the system. He was set to testify in the French tribunal and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha. His elimination was therefore imminent,” Judge Mbogholi said. He added that the Kenyan police did not carry out proper investigations because the Rwandan government failed to waive the diplomatic immunity of suspects at their embassy in Kenya to facilitate prosecution.

Sendashonga was a member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) government that took power after the April-June 1994 genocide. He resigned in August 1995 and went into exile in Kenya.