Gitega : seven magistrates in detention

Gitega : seven magistrates in detention

Seven magistrates have been detained at the central prison of Gitega (political capital) since Thursday evening, witnesses confirmed to SOS Médias Burundi. They are accused of acts of corruption and fraud. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

SOS Médias Burundi had the identity of those concerned. They are : Désiré Manirakiza, first deputy prosecutor in the province of Karusi (center-east of the country), Rénovat Manirampa, judge at the Court of Appeal of Gitega (political capital), Janvier Nizigiyimana, judge at the same Court, Philotaire Ndayishimiye, magistrate at the General Public Prosecutor’s office at the Court of Appeal of Gitega, Floridas, judge of the Court of Appeal of Gitega, Abel Irankunda, agent of the legal service at the central prison of Gitega and a certain Nestor, judge at the Gitega First Instance Court.

The eighth detainee is Jean Pierre Masabarakiza, an orderly of the Republic Prosecutor’s office in the province of Gitega.

According to judicial sources, they are accused of two main offenses : fraud and corruption.

Reasons for prosecution

According to sources close to the matter, everything is linked to a case of release of detainees.

“There is a man who poses as a commission agent. He contacts the families of detainees or the detainees themselves, then plays the role of liaison agent between them and the judges to facilitate rapid processing of cases or even the release of prisoners. To convince his clients, he sends them telephone recordings after conversations with magistrates”, say judicial sources in Gitega.

“The evidence available to the public prosecutor is audio elements recorded through telephone conversations”, reassure our sources.

They add that a flagrant trial for the eight people is being prepared.

The eight suspects were arrested this Thursday afternoon on the orders of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic. They were taken directly to Gitega central prison where they were interrogated.

“The last one was sent to his cell around midnight”, said a witness.

Arrest of the commission agent

The man behind the arrests was arrested this Friday. He is held in a police cell in the political capital, according to police sources.

Jurisdiction privilege

It is the Supreme Court which will have to judge the eight detainees. In Burundi, magistrates benefit from immunity from jurisdiction.

According to consistent sources, around ten other employees of the judicial sector in east-central Burundi are on the list of people to be arrested.

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