By Charles Kambanda
While Uganda says the 9 suspects were released to prove Uganda’s commitment to end Uganda-Rwanda conflict, Rwanda says the suspects were released because Uganda did not have a criminal case (evidence) against them.
The 9 suspects are in hospital; allegedly receiving treatment for trauma. Kagame claims Uganda security agents subjected the 9 suspects to unimaginable torture. Different diplomats have since visited the 9 suspects; it’s diplomatic “onslaughter” against Uganda!
Who’s playing who, if the two countries aren’t in agreement over a simple issue like this? Did Uganda anticipate Rwanda’s errant response?
1. Kigali assassins were released on nolle prosequi(s) ground, they were not acquitted; prosecution moved to “cut short” criminal proceedings against the 9 suspects.
Double jeopardy did not attach because the judge released them before the first witness was sworn to testify. Therefore, the 9 suspects can be arrested and charged for their crimes.
After the 9 suspects’ released on nolle prosequi, the government of Rwanda announced that the 9 assassins were released because there was no evidence against them.
Rwanda’s claim was erroneous in law and conventional diplomacy. The claim that the 9 suspects were released because there was no evidence is proof that Rwandan government is probably ignorance of Anglo-American criminal law procedure; Nolle prosequi is not evidentiary rule.
Alternatively, Rwanda’s claim that Uganda released Kagame’s assassin because there was no evidence, is in bad faith; meant to smear Uganda diplomatically.
Did Uganda anticipate Rwanda’s conduct; using the nolle prosequi to backstab Uganda diplomatically? If Uganda did not anticipate Rwanda’s errant response, then the nolle prosequi route was not strategic.
2. Did Uganda intend to gain high moral ground (diplomatically) over Rwanda, in return for nolle prosequi?
If yes, at what cost or for what proportional good?
3. Uganda probably thinks that releasing the 9 assassins presents no serious security threat to Uganda, after (i) keeping the assassins in jail for sometime, (ii) dismantling their terror cells in Uganda and (iii) getting helpful information from the assassins on the nature and scope of Kagame’s terrorism in Uganda.
If this is Uganda Gov reasoning, then:
(a) What about the victims of the 9 assassins’ crimes in Uganda?
(b) Did Uganda consider asking the government of Rwanda to compensate the families of the 3 or so Ugandan that Rwanda executed at border?
(c) Did Uganda require the government of Rwanda to return to Uganda all Rwandans that were under UNHCR and Uganda government protection (refugees), at the time Kagame agents kidnapped them from Uganda?