Arusha, April 19, 2012 (FH) – Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire's decision to boycott her trial before the Rwandan High Court was her own, and had nothing to do with the case of Pastor Jean Uwinkindi before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Ingabire's British lawyer told Hirondelle by E-mail Wednesday.

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Iain Edwards was reacting to statements by the Rwandan Prosecutor General that he (Edwards) may have planned Ingabire's walkout to justify a defence request before the ICTR to stay Uwinkindi's transfer to Rwanda. The pastor is due to be transferred today but is seeking an urgent stay on grounds his rights would not be respected. He is charged with genocide and extermination.

Edwards was previously a lawyer for Uwinkindi. "The decision of Ingabire to boycott the remainder of her trial was her own,” Edwards told Hirondelle. “It was not planned by myself or my Rwandan colleague, Maitre Gatera.” He also said that Uwinkindi's lawyer Claver Sindayigaya did not file his motion in reaction to Ingabire's boycott but in reaction to “the intimidating and irregular behaviour of the prosecution before the High Court in Rwanda towards a witness whose evidence did not suit the prosecution”, and also “the behaviour of the High Court judges who did nothing to sanction the prosecution for its disreputable acts and who decided to cut short the evidence of the witness”. Uwinkindi's lawyer Sindayigaya said in his motion Tuesday that recent developments in the Ingabire case provided “compelling evidence that provides strong grounds to believe that the accused (Uwinkindi) will be deprived of a fair trial in Rwanda”. Reacting to this motion, Rwandan Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said it was suspicious given that Edwards was involved in both cases. Ingabire, who tried to run in Rwanda's August 2010 presidential election, on Monday walked out of her trial to protest what she called repeated violation of her rights. Charges against her include provoking divisionism and forming an armed group with the aim of destabilizing the country.