Kigali - Rwandan police on Tuesday paraded four people accused of planning grenade attacks on the country's leaders in revenge for the assassination of a former spy chief and fierce critic of President Paul Kagame.
Kigali's former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, who lived in exile in South Africa, was found strangled to death in a Johannesburg luxury hotel on New Year's Day.
“The three intended to revenge for the death of Patrick Karegeya by taking lives of some of Rwanda's leaders,” chief detective Theos Badege told reporters, showing off six grenades the accused were reportedly planning to use for attacks.
Well known musician Kizito Mihigo, demobilised soldier Jean Paul Dukuzumuremyi and Cassien Ntamuhanga, a journalist at Amazing Grace Radio, as well as Agnes Niyibizi, were paraded before journalists on Tuesday.
All appeared at police headquarters in apparent good health, giving statements the police said were admissions of guilt, although their speeches were vague.
Mihigo was accused of being “in charge of mobilising the youth” for the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), an opposition party in exile, as well as the FDLR, Rwandan Hutu rebels who include the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in their ranks and who are based in the forests of neighbouring DR Congo.
Police said Mihigo had admitted having links with the two groups, although while speaking to reporters, he said that was limited to conversations over the Internet in which he had criticised the government.
Dukuzumuremyi “was responsible for carrying out terror attacks” for both groups, and had already been “given advance payment”, Badege told reporters.
Ntamuhanga and Dukuzumuremyi gave few clear details of the charges they face, while Niyibizi said she transferred money without knowing it was connected to any attack.
The arrests come as Rwanda holds commemorations to mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide, but also amid mounting criticism of the alleged suppression of political dissent by Rwanda's strongman President Paul Kagame.