Colonel Patrick Karegeya (right) and his nephew David Bateng. Citypress.co.za
How ironic that a maestro of assassination could fall prey to the same plots and ploys he had once used.
The same regime that former Rwandan external military intelligence chief Colonel Patrick Karegeya defended with blood ostensibly turned on him this week and left him lifeless in a swanky hotel room.
Dissident compatriots of the 54-year-old Karegeya were dumbfounded that the former Rwandan spymaster could so easily be lured into a death trap set for him at Sandton’s Michelangelo Hotel.
A top police unit is now searching for a Rwandan palm oil trader by the name of Apollo Kiririsi, who had a meeting with Karegeya at lunchtime on the last day of 2013.
By the time Karegeya’s body was discovered almost 20 hours later, Kiririsi had vanished. There is no record of him at the hotel as the room was booked under Karegeya’s name.
The Hawks’ Crimes Against the State unit is probing the probability that Kiririsi is a Rwandan agent who had befriended Karegeya over the past year to set him up for murder.
Karegeya had picked Kiririsi up on December 29 at the Sandton Gautrain station and took him to the Michelangelo Hotel. Kiririsi said he had just flown in from Abu Dhabi. At around 2pm on Tuesday, Karegeya went to the hotel for his fatal meeting.
The slightly chubby Karegeya, a law graduate from Uganda’s Makerere University, fought back. He is said to have been trained by the Mossad and is a veteran of two of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars.
Karegeya was strangled and had no wounds, but there was blood in the room. At least one of his assailants left the hotel wounded.
Another political assassination?
Critics of Rwanda President Paul Kagame say the murder carries the hallmark of yet another assassination carried out by the bespectacled strongman’s intelligence forces.
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