By Michael Odeng
KAMPALA - The High Court in Kampala issued an international warrant of arrest for suspected Chinese paedophile Yang Zhengjun who is accused of aggravated child trafficking and defilement.
The court presided over by Justice Joseph Murangira issued the order on Friday at the start of the trial after the suspect failed to show up in court.
Yang Zhengjun is believed to be on the run. His lawyer Yunus Kasirivu told court his client has not been found yet and that his mobile phone is off.
Police has been pursuing him for the past two weeks, but in vain.
His disappearance has prompted principal state attorney Susan Okalany to also apply for a warrant of arrest for sureties Ling Zhang Sino and Artib Sinan Rwaguma, both residents of UTC village LCI Nakasero Parish where the suspect lived.
The state prosecutor also asked court to withdraw charges against the co-accused, Faith Orlando until Zhenghjun, the main suspect in the case, is arrested.
Zhengjun is accused alongside Faith Orlando of aggravated trafficking of children, aggravated defilement and simple defilement.
Orlando appeared in court on Friday and was further remanded to Luzira prison.
Court on April 2 this year granted Zhengjun a sh100m cash bail and retained his passport. His four sureties were to execute a non-cash bond of sh100m.
Zhengjun was also ordered to report to the deputy registrar of High Court twice every month and not travel outside Uganda without permission.
Prosecution alleges that the suspects committed the offence between September and November last year.
Last month, Justice Rugadya Atwooki cancelled Zhengjun’s bail to expedite the trial and remanded him to Luzira prison but Justice Remmy Kasule of the Court of Appeal last week reinstated the bail, saying it was not proper for High Court to cancel Zhengjun’s bail when he was fulfilling all the bail terms.
It also alleged that the suspects engaged in the transportation of children through abduction from Kirombe Custom Corner cell in Gulu district to Lusaze ‘A’ in Lubaga division and harbored the victims for the purpose of engaging them in sexual acts.
Prosecution further alleges that Zhengjun, during the same months mentioned, defiled children of 13, 14 and 9 years respectively.
Police is still conducting a manhunt for the suspect as court adjourned the matter to August 30 for further hearing.