By NEW TIMES RWANDA
Rwanda’s former Premier Pierre-Damien Habumuremyi Thursday morning appeared in Gasabo Primary Court for his first hearing on charges related to issuing bounced cheques and breach of trust.
He pleaded not guilty.
His lawyers also asked the court to conduct the hearings in-camera, arguing that their client will not speak freely with journalists around and cameras flashing.
They further argued that Habumuremyi has a heart condition, and having the media in the courtroom, is putting pressure on him, risking aggravating his cardiovascular-related disease.
The judges are in recess and are expected to return shortly with a decision on the request.
Habumuremyi was arrested earlier this month, few days after his university, the Christian University of Rwanda (CHUR) was closed by the Ministry of Education.
He is said to have accumulated hundreds of millions of francs in debts to different suppliers to the University that was at the time of its closure operating two campuses, one in Kigali and another one in Karongi District.
The university management was last year accused of not paying the teaching staff and other employees, which prompted an audit from the Higher Education Council.