Bunyoni affair: the supreme court confirmed the detention of former prime minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni

Bunyoni affair: the supreme court confirmed the detention of former prime minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni

The Burundi’s Supreme Court has confirmed preventive detention for former Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, SOS Médias Burundi learned Wednesday evening. Mr. Bunyoni, who faces up to 30 years in prison, pleaded for provisional release last Thursday, citing a chronic illness and inhumane conditions of his detention. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The decision was notified to the former first minister this Wednesday, judicial sources told SOS Médias Burundi on Wednesday evening.

“But this decision was already known to certain prison and judicial authorities because it fell this Tuesday at Gitega prison in what is called in legal jargon ‘imprisonment file’*”, indicated to SOS Médias Burundi a judicial source in Gitega.

Requests deemed unfounded

According to a judge, the supreme court found that General Bunyoni’s arguments were unfounded and confirmed his detention. In a public hearing on September 28, 2023 which took place at the central prison of Gitega (political capital), the former Burundian prime minister pleaded for provisional release “citing a fatal chronic illness (very advanced type 2 diabetes) and the inhumane conditions of his detention.

He had even agreed to pay a deposit of 300,000,000 Burundian francs in addition to real estate, the money and the real estate could constitute a guarantee for a provisional release.

“The Supreme Court rejected the petition.”

Other decisions

The same court confirmed the detention of police colonel Désiré Uwamahoro, former commander of the Anti-Riot Brigade, and Samuel Destiné Bapfumukeko, an executive in the National Intelligence Service (SNR) who are being prosecuted in the same case as Bunyoni.

Risk of being disenrolled

In prison since May 8, the highest ranking officer of the PNB (Burundi National Police) could be removed from this institution if he spends six months in detention, according to the code governing the defense and security forces of Burundi.

Alain Guillaume Bunyoni is officially being prosecuted for “undermining the internal security of the State, undermining the proper functioning of the national economy, illegal taking of interest, contempt of the Head of State and illegal possession of weapons”.

He faces up to 30 years in prison. His family and lawyer were not available for comment on the decision.

Prison file: each prison has a prison register which contains essential information on prisoners (age, profession, conviction, date of entry, exit, etc.). Prison registers thus constitute a valuable source for the history of prisons and incarcerated populations.

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