Magistrate Stanley Makari said prosecution was unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the two men were involved in the attempted murder. The magistrate actually described the prosecution case as “speculation”.
Meanwhile, the remaining four men including two Rwandans and two Tanzanians were found guilty on account that they held various meetings to plan the killing of Kayumba. However, prosecution had put much of its focus on the two acquitted.
According to prosecutor Shaun Abrahams, accused Pascal Kanyandekwe was arrested at OT Airport in Johannesburg with a bag containing a key which looked like one found on one of the 4 found guilty. Pascal also allegedly had a newspaper which had photos of Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Prosecution also alleged that Pascal had large amount of cash and also faked the stealing of his car he had hired from a guest house in Johannesburg.
Prosecution also claimed that Pascal had offered $1million to two detectives who arrested him on July 2, 2010 as he arrived in SA on personal business.
Pascal maintained his innocence throughout the four year trial. In the case of Richard Bachisa, he was the driver of Kayumba when a man appeared with a gun and targeted at Kayumba. They were coming from shopping. Prosecution and Kayumba himself accused Richard of not doing anything and actually opening the window to allow the shooter target Kayumba.
Prosecution also alleged that Richard Bachisa was the one who provided the killers with regular information on the whereabouts of Kayumba. In his defence, Richard said he got out of the car and fought off the killer whose gun actually jammed after releasing some few bullets.
Reviewing the evidence, the magistrate said the prosecutor did not make any effort to provide sufficient evidence. The magistrate also attacked prosecution for not calling to stand key witnesses Kayumba’s wife Rossette and her brother Frank Ntwali.
For Rosette, it was established in court that she had given a completely different account of what happened on that day of the shooting. Rossette had described how the driver Richard Bachisa fought the attacker, but Kayumba said otherwise.
It was established in court that the police used Frank Ntwali as the interpreter while interrogating Richard and the other suspects. The magistrate said yesterday that up today, there were no clear details as to which gun was used in the shooting.
In pronouncing the judgement on Pascal and Richard, the magistrate had wasted the court’s precious time filing a case against people who were innocent of the crime. He immediately released the two men and they walked out of the courtroom.
It is not clear if they will immediately return to Rwanda. Richard had been living in South African for several months after leaving Rwanda fearing for his life. As for Pascal, he had been a businessman travelling between various countries including South Africa. He holds duo Rwandan-Belgian citizenship.
Kayumba had been maintaining in the past four years in media interviews and in his testimony before the court that all the six men were sent by the government of Rwanda to kill him. Kigali has denied any involvement.
The sentencing of the remaining 4 men will be on September 10.