Fresh Charges Await Col. Tom Byabagamba
The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) will arraign Colonel Tom Byabagamba before military courts for additional charges committed while in detention, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.
In a brief statement, the army said that the former head of the Republican Guard attempted to bribe his way out of the military prison and that more people involved are being investigated.
“Col Byabagamba is suspected of criminal activities related to attempt to commit corruption and attempt to escape from a prison,”
“Suspected criminal activities committed by Colonel Tom Byabagamba and his inside and outside accomplices are being thoroughly investigated,” a statement from RDF said.
Col. Byabagamba was arrested on August 24, 2014 and in 2016, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison by the Military High Court after he was found guilty of inciting insurrection or trouble amongst the population; tarnishing, as a leader, the image of the country or Government; wilfully concealing objects that would facilitate the execution of a crime; and contempt of the national flag.
He appealed the sentence with his co-accused Brig Gen (Rtd) Frank Rusagara and December 27 last year, the Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to 15 years in prison and stripped him off his military ranks.
“The RDF reassures the public that justice will take its course and will not tolerate any person who violates the law and RDF ethics and values,” the communique said.
Both Byabagamba and Rusagara were accused of making statements or comments that undermined the leadership of the country and tarnished the image of the country.