By Michael Odeng
KAMPALA - Buganda Road Magistrates Court has set April 14 as the date for ruling on whether a nurse who is accused of injecting a baby with an HIV-contaminated needle has a case to answer.
The prosecution team is accusing Rosemary Namubiru of deliberating injecting the toddler with malicious intent.
The 64-year-old nurse has since denied the charges preferred against her.
Court has already heard that the nurse pricked the baby using a needle she had used on herself while administering treatment to the child at Victoria Medical Center.
Chief magistrate Olive Kazaarwe Mukwaya set the date after prosecution led by State Attorney Lillian Omara closed their case after lining up nine witnesses who pinned the nurse.
“Your worship, prosecution has decided to close its case because it has produced enough evidence which makes it necessary to pin the accused person,” said Omara.
The suspect will be called to the witness dock to give her defence if she has a case to answer. The law allows her to call witnesses.
It is alleged that the nurse committed the act on January 7 this year, and that she was aware of what she was doing – knowing that the baby would be infected with the virus.
Police surgeon Taddeo Barongi has testified as a witness in the case. PHOTO/Wilfred Sanya
Kazaarwe ordered Namubiru’s lawyers to make a written submission of no-case-to-answer before March 26, adding that prosecution will reply by making its written submissions based on their arguments before April 2.
She also ruled that the charge and caution statement in which the accused confessed pricking the baby be tendered in court as evidence.
The trial magistrate said Namubiru made the confession voluntarily and not forcefully as lawyers claim.
“By the time the accused made the statement, her state of mind was normal”.
The defence team led by Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi had earlier rejected it, saying the statement which contained first charges of attempted murder was replaced with another of causing negligent act with intention of spreading the infectious disease.
The lawyers claim that while under police custody, their client was tortured by and forced to sign the charge and caution statement.
“My client said she was tortured and forced to sign the charge and caution statement without reading it by detective ASP Enid Namungo,” said Rwakafuuzi.
If court rules that the nurse has a case to answer, she will decide to whether give defence on oath or not under the guidance of her lawyers.