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Rwanda president considering clemency for ex-president jailed on incitement charges

[JURIST] Rwandan President Paul Kagame [BBC profile] said Monday that he is considering granting clemency to former President Pasteur Bizimungu [BBC profile], who is serving a 15-year prison sentence [JURIST report] for inciting violence, embezzlement, and associating with criminals after he left office in 2000. Bizimungu had appealed his conviction [JURIST report] to the Rwandan Supreme Court, but the court rejected Bizimungu's arguments [JURIST report] that his arrest and conviction had been politically motivated and that he should not have been convicted on charges different from those on which he was arrested.

Bizimungu last week sent Kagame a letter asking for clemency, saying that he "never intended to commit any crime" and that his release would be "for the good of the nation." Kagame said Monday that he has received the letter but has not yet reached a decision. Reuters has more.

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