‘I’ve learned my lesson’, says Moshions’ Turahirwa during appeal hearing,The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court held an appeal trial for Moses Turahirwa, the founder of the esteemed local fashion house, Moshions, who has petitioned the court to release him on bail after he was remanded for 30 days by Nyarugenge Primary Court.
He was remanded on May 15 for drug abuse.
At the June 12 hearing, Turahirwa and his lawyer, Irene Bayisabe, put forward three arguments in support of his appeal case. They argued that the lower court, upon remanding Turahirwa, noted elements that had not been raised in the indictment nor questioned during the proceedings.
They argued that the court was relying on a post made on his Instagram page, in which he declared that growing tobacco in Rwanda is lawful and affirmed his ownership of a plot of land in Nyungwe.
Turahirwa and his lawyer argued that the statements should not have warranted his remand.”small amount” of cannabis discovered at his residence was insufficient evidence to prove he knew of its existence, and asked the court to grant him bail.
He also pleaded with court to release him so that he can complete his academic internship, stay up-to-date with his studies, and continue working on other projects.
Prosecution, on the other hand, argued that the primary court was right to remand him. They asserted that his post was of utmost importance to the case file, and thus their investigation needed to be guided by it.
Concerning the topic of sureties, prosecutors noted that Turahirwa is a renowned public individual with considerable sway over the youth. Remanding him, therefore, would serve as a cautionary warning to discourage him from influencing the youth in a detrimental way, and would further address his involvement in the cultivation of drugs.
The judge questioned Turahirwa about the contents of his social media post and if anything was gleaned from his recent period of incarceration, to which he (Turahirwa) said that the post was related to his study and research.
He declared that the topic of conversation was tobacco, not cannabis. Furthermore, he denied any involvement or scheme regarding Nyungwe, stressing that it is a public forest.
Turahirwa acknowledged that his use of cannabis was the root cause of his predicament and, in light of the lessons he had learned over the past days, declared he would henceforth stop using it.
He said he had sought the help of a therapist, but his incarceration has prevented him from attending his assigned sessions regularly.
Previously, he was charged with two offences, which were forgery of documents and drug abuse. However, the Lower Court declared that there was insufficient cause to suspect him of forgery of documents.
The prosecution presented evidence that included a fragment of cannabis found in a shirt within his room and tests conducted by Rwanda Forensic Laboratory, which confirmed he had illegally used cannabis, in relation to the drug use charge.
The ruling on the appeal for bail is scheduled for June 15.