The intermediate court of Nyarugenge in Kigali city on Friday found guily the former Rwandan state minister in charge of Culture, Edouard Bamporiki in a corruption case and sentenced him to four years in prison with heavy fines totaling 60 million Rwandan Francs ($ 60,000 USD).
Amid tight security, the Presiding judge at the intermediate court of Nyarugenge in Kigali city said Bamporiki has been found guilty of charges of corruption and influence peddling.
The defendant, however, is discharged of obtaining money under false pretences as the prosecution failed to establish the facts against them.
The judge proved that when Bamporiki was summoned by the judicial police, local businessman and a senior official in Kigali city to reopen a factory that was closed down by municipality authorities due to not meeting requirements.
Despite Bamporiki admitting to taking a bribe on social media, his defense team argued that the amount he accepted was ‘a token of appreciation’ for his efforts to connect or mediate the businessman, a personal friend, with the Vice Mayor of the City of Kigali in charge of Infrastructure and Urbanisation, Dr Merard Mpabwanamaguru, in a bid to resolve the dispute between the city and the businessman.
However, the judge ruled that it is clear that Bamporiki used the power as minister to try and influence the decision of the city.
According to the judge, Bamporiki was confident that with his involvement as a senior Government official, the factory would be reopened, which also points to misuse of authority.
Bamporiki was suspended from the cabinet on May 5 and placed under house arrest following allegations of his involvement in corruption.
Apart from his political career, Bamporiki is a filmmaker. "Long Coat" is one of his most famous films - through a story of a survivor of the 1994 genocide and one of a perpetrator's son, the film focuses on leaving one's past behind.