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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Tuesday 20 August 2019

Keen interest in inquest into spymaster’s death

An inquest in January will try to establish who killed Rwandan dissident spymaster Patrick Karegeya in the plush Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton five years ago. Karegeya’s family and his political party are convinced that it was Rwandan President Paul Kagame who ordered a trusted confidante of Karegeya, businessman Apollo Gataranga, to arrange for him to be strangled with a curtain cord in his room in the hotel on New Year’s Eve, 2013. The Daily Maverick reports that Kigali has denied this. Karegeya’s nephew David Batenga said he and his family were relieved the case was now finally going to court. This after Randburg magistrate Jeremiah Matopa announced that the inquest into Karegeya’s death would begin in his court on 16 January. Chief Prosecutor Yusuf Baba told the court that he had lined up more than 30 witnesses. ‘I intend calling every witness in this matter. This is a very sensitive case dealing with international relations,’ he said. Baba told the magistrate that the two suspects who allegedly committed the murder had fled the country. Since the suspects were not South African, any further legal action might require extradition, Baba said. The report notes that the Rwanda National Congress, the exiled opposition party which Karegeya had belonged to, issued a statement in Johannesburg on Thursday, on behalf of itself and the murdered spy chief’s family, thanking the South African government for bringing the case to court.