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Rwandan president pardons ex-PM jailed for fake cheques

By Didier Bikorimana

Pierre Damien Habumuremyi was prime minister from 2011 to 2014

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has pardoned former Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi who was sentenced to three years in prison for issuing counterfeit cheques.

The former PM was jailed last year for the fraudulent cheques he paid out to creditors at his Kigali-based Christian University of Rwanda, which has since been closed down.

During his trial, Habumuremyi said he had given the cheques as a guarantee that the university would pay the creditors and that all the recipients were given some money alongside the cheques.

Alongside the sentence he was ordered to pay 892m Rwandan francs ($879,000; £641,000) in damages.

He will still have to find that money and his accounts will remain frozen and property seized until he pays, state media report.

The former prime minister's son Appollo Mucyo, who had campaigned for his release, wrote on Instagram: "My heart is full. I’m overwhelmed with happiness! I can’t even find the right words.

"I just thank God that through it all, the love I have for my country... remained intact. I’m grateful for the gesture."

Habumuremyi, 60, was the country’s ninth prime minister, serving from 2011 to 2014, prior to which he was education minister for five months.

This article appeared in BBC News.


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