By Michael Odeng & Job Bwire
KAMPALA - The High Court in Kampala has extended an international warrant of arrest that was issued recently for suspected Chinese paedophile Yang Zhengjun who is accused of aggravated child trafficking and defilement.
Zhengjun was recently released on bail but has since, together with his sureties and one of the defence lawyers, Andrew Ssebugwawo vanished.
This consequently stalled the trial of the case and prompted the trial judge, Joseph Murangira, to issue an international warrant of arrest for the suspect and his sureties that are yet to be arrested.
The same court has also denied Zhengjun’s co-accused, Faith Orlando, bail for fear vanishing like her co-accused.
The other defence lawyer, Yunusu Kasirivu had earlier on asked court to grant Orlando bail on claims that she was sick and needed proper medical attention which, according to him, could not be accessed from prison where she is currently being detained.
This however was contended by Murangira in agreement with the State Attorney. They expressed fear that Orlando might as well vanish further frustrating the trial.
Orlando was consequently further remanded and the matter adjourned to November 8.
“I cannot grant her (Orlando) bail because she might also disappear like Zhengjun,” said Murangira before extending the international arrest warrant for Zhengjun and his sureties.
Court on April this year granted Zhengjun a sh100m cash bail and retained his passport. His four sureties were to execute a non-cash bond of sh100m each.
Zhengjun was also ordered to report to the deputy registrar of High Court twice every month and not travel outside Uganda without permission.
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 reinstated the bail early this month, saying it was not proper for High Court to cancel Zhengjun’s bail when he was fulfilling all the terms.
Prosecution alleges that the suspects committed the offence between September and November last year.
It also alleged that the suspects engaged in the transportation of children through abduction from Kirombe Custom cell in Gulu district to Lusaze ‘A’ in Lubaga division and harboured the victims for the purpose of engaging them in sexual acts.
Prosecution further alleges that Zhengjun, during the same months defiled children of 14, 13 and 9 years respectively.
Police are still conducting a manhunt for the suspect and his sureties. Court adjourned the matter to September 18 for further hearing.