The High Court on Friday sentenced singer Kizito Mihigo and two co-accused to jail sentences, while the fourth accused, Agnès Niyibizi, was acquitted of the five charges against her.
Mihigo was handed a 10-year jail sentence after he was found guilty of forming a criminal gang, conspiracy against the established government or the President of the Republic, murder and conspiracy to murder. He was however acquitted of complicity in a terrorist act and aiding the formation of a criminal gang, because of lack of evidence.
The prosecution had asked for a life sentence for Kizito, but the judge said Mihigo’s guilty plea was a mitigating circumstance resulting in a lesser sentence.
Co-accused and former Amazing Grace Radio journalist Cassien Ntamuhanga, who maintained his innocence throughout the trial, was given a 25-year jail sentence, after being found guilty of all of the charges of forming a criminal gang, conspiracy against the established government or the President of the Republic, and aiding the formation of a criminal gang.
30-year-old Jean-Paul Dukuzumuremyi, a demobilized soldier, was sentenced to 30 years behind bars, having been found guilty of all of the 5 charges against him.
Agnès Niyibizi on the other hand was cleared of all charges, and the judge ordered her immediate release.
The sentences fall far short of the request of the prosecution, which had asked life in prison for Kizito Mihigo and Ntamuhanga, 50 years for Dukuzumuremyi and 25 years for Niyibizi.
Mihigo had asked for forgiveness for his deeds and detailed the circumstances under which he committed the crimes, while the rest maintained that they were innocent of all the charges.