Lawyers representing the family of deceased businessman Assinapol Rwigara which is being investigated for tax evasion have asked police to extend a scheduled questioning.
The Rwanda National Police (RNP) said in a statement on Saturday evening that it had accepted the request for the postponement. Police officers searched home of Rwigara and had been scheduled on Monday to question the children led by eldest daughter Diane Shima Rwigara who controls the family business.
The family “have requested for postponement of further questioning in order to consult further with their lawyers and this has been granted,” said police Spokesperson ACP Theos Badege.
Media reports had suggested that Diane Rwigara and her siblings had been arrested and their whereabouts remained unknown. But KT Press can exclusively confirm that all of them are in their family home located in Kigali city center.
Commenting on the alleged arrests, Badege said: “None of them are in custody, and the RNP is aware that they are in contact with, and regularly visited at their residence, by their lawyer. They also report to Police when summoned, as the investigations continue.”
Local Kinyarwanda language media have reported that a cash total of Rwf 150m in different currency was found in the Rwigara home when it was searched. Reports also say the tax audit of the Rwigara business empire by the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) had established unpaid taxes over some Rwf5billion ($6m) spanning from 2012.
Meanwhile, the police has also clarified another related case where four journalists claim to have been harassed by members of the Presidential Guard on Friday. The reporters were outside the home of the Rwigaras supposedly to speak to the family.
The home is located in an area patrolled by the Presidential Guard. Information corroborated by the journalists shows that the officers became suspicious of their movements. They approached the reporters and identified themselves. The journalists refused to heed to orders not to spend alot of time at the location – leading to a verbal confrontation.
Police spokesman Badege said in the statement: “This was clearly a case of mistaken identity and miscommunication. There should not have been misunderstanding as both the officers and the journalists were legally carrying out their respective duties.”
The journalists promptly reported the incident to the police who clarified the situation. There was no reason to claim harassment, says the police.
“The RNP recognises the right of media to gather news, while respecting the law. In this case, no law was violated.”