Terror suspect Lt Mutabazi refuses to testify before court
Lt Joel Mutabazi, leader of a suspected terrorist group operating in Uganda, appeared with his 15 co-accused before the Kanombe military Court martial but refused to testify, saying only God can judge him fairly.
The presiding judges however tried to convince Mutabazi that it is in his interest to stand trial but all was in vain as the suspect held to his ground with little response on the charges, saying he doesn’t know a single word in English.
Joel Mutabazi’s young brother, Jackson Karemera, their uncle Eugene Mutamba and fellow former demobilized Republican Guard, Pvt. Innocent Kalisa were among the 15 co-accused who appeared before court.
They jointly and separately answer charges of terrorism, murder, conspiracy to murder, and formation of an armed group, spreading rumors with intention to incite the public against the State, illegal possession of fire arms, forgery and desertion.
His brother Karemera told court that Mutabazi asked him to sneak a pistol into Uganda to stage-manage an attack on self; so as to accuse Kigali, and get refugee status from United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
Mutabazi held his ground on the not guilty plea as during his pre-trial hearing before entering a guilty plea during a closed door hearing. His uncle and brother however pleaded guilty to possession of firearms.
Mutabazi was arrested in Uganda in 2013 through a joint police effort by the regional intelligence teams. He has previously appeared before the Nyamirambo Military court.
Among the suspects are two members of FDLR (a genocidal militia made up of Ex-FAR and interahamwe) closely linked with Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and eight former National University of Rwanda students recruited by RNC and suspected to be part of a terror cell of the FDLR.
His co-accused include: Karemera Jackson, EugeneMutamba, DianeGasengayire, Joseph Nshimiyimana, Pelagie Twizeyimana, Cyprien Nibishaka Rwisanga, Dative Murekeyisoni, Balthazar Maniraho, Jean de Dieu Nizigiyeho, Shadrack Barangayabo, Simon-Pierre Mahirwe, Marie-Grace Mutuyimana and Anselme Nimusabe.