KIGALI, A Rwandan court on Monday began hearing a case against a woman who showed interest in August's presidential election for inciting insurrection and forgery.
Diane Shima Rwigara, a 35-year-old businesswoman, appeared with her mother and sister on Monday at Intermediate Court of Nyarugenge in the capital city of Kigali and denied the charges. Prosecutors provided whatsapp audio messages retrieved from suspects' mobile phones which were played in court to prove their allegations. Some 12 audio messages were played.
The hearing is scheduled to continue on Wednesday. The hearing started days after court postponed four previous sessions on being asked by the defence. Rwigara were arrested on Sept. 23, according to Rwandan police. Her mother Adeline and sister Anne were charged with incitement and "discrimination and sectarianism."
Rwigara, the only female who showed interest in the presidential elections held in August, failed to meet all the requirements for being nominated as a candidate by Rwanda's National Electoral Commission (NEC). She fell short of the required number of signatures in all districts in the country, according to NEC.
According to the Rwanda penal code, those convicted of inciting insurrection will face punishment of 10 to 15 year sentence on conviction while the use of counterfeited papers can attract a jail term of 5 to 7 years.