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Court rejects Besigye’s pleas in treason case

By Michael Odeng, Farooq Kasule

Added 25th January 2017 02:28 PM

Besigye had asked court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Noah Ssajjabi to allow him skip court proceedings until investigations are complete because it is costly.

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Dr Kizza Besigye leaving court. PHOTO/Meddie Musisi

Nakawa Chief Magistrate court has dismissed pleas by former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Dr. Kizza Besigye not to attend court in his treason case due to delays in investigations.

Besigye had asked court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Noah Ssajjabi to allow him skip court proceedings until investigations are complete because it is costly.

“Your worship, investigations has been ongoing for over eight months. I am extremely constrained not to come to court if investigations continue without any sign of completion. It is costly both in time and resources for me to move to court over charges that are not going anywhere. I request court to allow me not to attend court over this matter and only be notified when investigations are complete,” Besigye requested. 

His pleas followed submission by state prosecutor Racheal Nabwire, who informed court that investigations in the case are still going on and asked court for an adjournment.  

But the magistrate instead ordered Besigye to keep on reporting to court until investigations are complete.

“I note that the accused had raised the same concern in court before the Chief Magistrate, who advised him to seek indulgence from the High Court. This position still stands and court will continue mentioning the case until investigations are complete,” Ssajjabi ruled.

The Magistrate said the accused has a duty to report to court until investigations are complete. He therefore advised Besigye to direct his concerns to the High Court which has jurisdiction to hear the case.

Besigye arrived in court aboard a white land cruiser at about 9:30am. He was accompanied by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) lord councilor Muhammad Ssegirinya.

Besigye is battling charges of treason under sections 23 of the Penal Code Act (PCA). A person charged with treason is liable to suffer death upon conviction.

Prosecution alleges that between February 18 and May 11, Besigye, in various places in Wakiso and Kampala districts, incited the people to overthrow the Government.

He is also accused of declaring himself as president after claiming to have won the February 18 presidential elections.

Prosecution also alleges that Besigye incited the public to defy lawful authority.

The case was adjourned to February 27, when Besigye will appear in court for mention of his case.     

 

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