Friday 24 November 2017

Man (41) pleads not guilty to hurling eggs at Rwandan president

Papy Ekolongo. Photo: Collins
Papy Ekolongo. Photo: Collins

By Andrew Phelan

A RWANDAN man accused of hurling eggs at his country’s president during a visit to Dublin has pleaded not guilty.

Papy Ekolongo (41) denied a public order charge in the incident in March, when President Paul Kagame was in Ireland for a major conference.

Judge William Early adjourned the case for hearing on a date in July at Dublin District Court.

Mr Ekolongo, with an address at Avondale Park, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15, was charged following his arrest during a demonstration.

It is alleged he engaged in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace at St. Stephen's Green North, on March 23 last. The charge is under Section 6 of the Public Order Act.

Defence Solicitor Tracy Horan told the court today that the defendant was pleading not guilty to the charge.

The defendant was remanded on continuing bail. It was his second court appearance since he was arrested in March.

Previously, Ms Horan had sought disclosure of prosecution evidence. She said the case “involved throwing eggs at the Rwandan president,” and that she required a copy of a garda custody record or any statements taken.

Free legal aid was granted earlier to the defendant who is unemployed. On conviction, could face a fine, a three-month sentence or the possibility of both.

The Rwandan president, Mr Kagame had been in Dublin along with several international figures from government, industry and the academic world for a conference on making broadband more available and affordable worldwide.

He co-chaired the two-day meeting of the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development which took place at the Shelbourne Hotel at St Stephen's Green.

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