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Rights of suspect in RwandaRights of  a suspects in Rwanda are provided for by the constitution of Rwanda and Criminal Procedure Law in force. Suspects are entitled to their constitutional  rights which are provided for by the law.

Rights of  a suspect in Rwanda

There are several rights provided for by the law in Rwanda and these include the following:

  1. To be informed of the nature and cause of charges and the right to defense and legal representation;
  2. Be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a competent Court;
  3. Appear before a competent Court;
  4. Not to be subjected to prosecution, arrest, detention or punishment on account of any act or omission which did not constitute an offence under national or international law at the time it was committed. Offences and their penalties are determined by law;
  5. Not to be held liable for an offence he or she did not commit. Criminal liability is personal;
  6. Not to be punished for an offence with a penalty that is severer than the penalty provided for by the law at the time that offence was committed;
  7. Not to be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation;
  8. Not to be prosecuted or punished for a crime which has reached its statute of limitations.

However, the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are not subject to statute of limitations.

Also, a law may determine other crimes which are not subject to statute of limitation

Rights of  a suspect in Rwanda who cannot afford a lawyer

If a suspect is unable to get a legal counsel, the investigator or the prosecutor informs the  President of the Bar Association for him or her to assign a legal counsel to the suspect.

Furthermore, the suspect who is assigned a legal counsel as provided for in this paragraph cannot refuse the counsel without substantial reasons.

If the suspect is a child, he or she is entitled to a legal counsel.

The legal counsel is allowed to consult the case file in Public Prosecution.

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