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Gov't Asks for More Time to Respond to Production Warrant for Missing Rwandan

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Further, Musota told court that when he was on his way to court , he received a call from an official from ISO who said that their Preliminary investigations show that Rutabana is not in their custody as well.
Rwandan National Benjamine Rutabana who reportedly went missing in Uganda

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The Attorney General has asked for more time to consult security heads on whether or not Rwandan national, Benjamine Rutabana is locked up in any Ugandan facility. The Attorney General’s representative, Brian Musota made the request while appearing before Justice Esta Nambayo in the High Court Civil Division on Thursday.

Musota explained that he served security heads Rutabana’s production warrant and was still awaiting their responses. Justice Nambayo issued the production warrant on February 19th 2020 against the Attorney General, the Director of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence- CMI, Director Internal Security Organization-ISO, Inspector General of Police, Director Criminal Investigations Directorate-CID and the Commandant Special Investigations Bureau-SIB.

 

Musota told court that he received responses from the Legal Director Uganda People’s Defense Forces –UPDF, Brigadier General Asingura Kagoro and SIB Commandant, Elly Womanya, indicating that Rutabana isn’t in their custody. He also disclosed that he had received a phone call from an ISO official on his way to court indicating that isn’t in their custody.

He asked for more time to consult the IGP, CMI and CID Directors on the matter before court decides on the next course of action. However, Dr. David Mushabe, who filed the application for a production warrant on behalf of Rutabana's family, rejected the response from Brigadier General Kagoro, saying he can’t speak on behalf of UPDF because the court orders were issued against specific individuals.

 

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Luganda

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Rutabana is said to have been picked up plain clothed security operatives who claimed to be from ISO and CMI on September 8th, 2019. They reportedly took him to Mbuya CMI Headquarters before transferring him to ISO. In his February 12, 2020 application, Dr. Mushabe claims Rutabana, who is a French citizen of Rwandan descent, has been in illegal detention since his arrest and his whereabouts are unknown. 

In affidavit sworn by Kenneth Munungu, one of Rutabana’s lawyers says his family wrote to the French Embassy and Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kuteesa on October 28, 2019 calling for their intervention for the release of their client in vain. Munungu says Rutabana has been in illegal detention for five months in violation of the Constitutional limit of 48 hours without prosecution.  

He says that their client has no criminal record to warrant such detention, adding that Rutabana is innocent and ready to answer any charges levied against him once produced in court. Rutabana is said to have landed at Entebbe International Airport on September 4th, 2019 from Brussels in Belgium but there is no record showing him exiting Uganda. 

Rwandan media describes Rutabana as an active member of Rwanda National Congress, which is led by Lt. General Kayumba Nyamwasa, the former Chief of Staff of the Rwanda Patriotic Forces-RPF.