Africa

Former Rwandan spy chief last seen with 'trusted' friend

Sapa-AP, Sapa

Rwanda's late former spy chief Patrick Karegeya was last seen with a Rwandan businessman who befriended the victim in jail, says a Rwandan ex-general.

Gauteng police and the Hawks said the hunt for the killer of Patrick Karegeya continued. (M&G)

A Rwandan ex-general who has survived two assassination attempts says the man who was last seen with the ex-spymaster killed in a South African hotel was a Rwandan businessperson who befriended the victim in a Rwandan jail.

Police say former Colonel Patrick Karegeya's body, apparently strangled, was found on Wednesday in Sandton's Michelangelo Hotel along with a bloodied towel and rope.

Former Lieutenant General Kayumba Nyamwasa said on Saturday that Karegeya was last seen by a family member at the hotel with Apollo Ismael Kisiriri.

Nyamwasa said he had twice met Karegeya with Kisiriri and that "he [Karegeya] trusted him absolutely ... but now one is dead."

Exiled opponents accuse Rwandan President Paul Kagame of ordering Karegeya's assassination and 2010 attempts on Nyamwasa's life in the South African city of Johannesburg.

'Exploring all avenues'
Meanwhile, Gauteng police and the Hawks on Friday said the hunt for the killer of Karegeya continued.

"We are exploring all avenues," Hawks spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said.

Lieutenant Colonel​ Katlego Mogale said she could not immediately comment on developments in the investigation. She would neither confirm nor deny reports that security camera footage from the hotel formed part of the investigation.

"It is police procedure, where a crime was committed and CCTV footage of the scene exists, [for it] to be viewed by investigators."

Mogale said on Thursday that when Karegeya's body was found, his neck was swollen.

"There is a possibility that he might have been strangled," she said.

Suspect 'Apollo Kiririsi'
On Friday, the New Age reported that Kiririsi was allegedly being sought in connection with the murder.

Karegeya's nephew David Batenga reportedly told the newspaper that he and his uncle had picked Kiririsi up from a Gautrain station and taken him to the Michelangelo Hotel.

Batenga left the men after a few hours, and tried to call Karegeya on his cellphone on Tuesday evening but received no response. The police were alerted when Karegeya's phone was still switched off the following morning, the newspaper reported. – Sapa; Sapa-AP

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