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Rwandan football player, accused of using fraudulent identification documents, granted bail

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The presiding judge at Rubavu Primary Court in North Western Rwanda on Friday, January 2020, granted bail to Rwandan national football team player, Hervé Amadeus Rugwiro. 

Rugwiro was accused of using forged documents while traveling from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

The 25-years-old player, who also plays for first division side Rayon Sports, was arrested two weeks ago after he was found in possession of fraudulent identification documents from the DRC as he was returning back to Rwanda.

During the hearing on Friday, 3 January 2020, the player told the court that he obtained the Congolese documents through the support of his former club, the military side APR FC, when he was selected to travel with the team for a friendly match in Congo-Brazzaville in 2017.

The Rwandan law allows for dual citizenship and protects persons, who are Rwandan nationals by origin, from being deprived of their nationality, the prosecutor said that the questionable travel document – which was issued in the DRC was not genuine. This was confirmed by the Rwandan Embassy in Kinshasa.

The prosecution had submitted to the court that the player be remanded for 30 days while they conclude the investigations.

However, the court ordered the immediate release of the Rwandan player, explaining that “there is no substantial reasons for remanding him for 30 days.”

The bail was without any condition, according to the ruling.

Rugwiro inked his first professional contract with military side, APR FC, in June 2013, and has since featured for the record 17-time Rwandan champions in local, regional and continental competitions.

His arrest comes at a time when attention has been drawn to a market for fake passports and other forms of identification, including driving licenses for Rwandan citizens from the DRC. With hundreds of thousands of people crossing very porous borders between the two countries, Rwanda has maintained tight security in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in the eastern DRC.

– APA

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