By Michael Odeng
THE defence hearing of Rosemary Namubiru, the nurse accused of injecting a 2-year-old baby with HIV-contaminated needle, starts Thursday.
Namubiru currently on remand in Luzira Prison was on Tuesday ordered to defend herself by Buganda Road court magistrate Olive Kazaarwe Mukwaya after she ruled that the accused person had a case to answer.
Namubiru, 64, who will testify under oath will also present two witnesses to defend her under the supervision of her lawyers David Kabanda and Ladislaus Rwakafuzi while state prosecutors Lino Anguzu and Lillian Omara are representing the state.
Namubiru was charged with negligence with the intention of spreading the infectious disease. She pleaded not guilty to the crime.
She allegedly committed the offence on January 7, 2014 at the hospital. According to prosecution, Namubiru had malicious intent to cause the baby’s death.
On Tuesday, Mukwaya overruled defence lawyer’s submission of no case to answer and insisted that defence hearing should proceed.
In a written submission, defence protested that the trial process and investigations were marred with fundamental human rights abuse. They claim that their client spent more than 48 constitutional hours in police custody and was tortured.
“If this trial proceeds, then it condones the concept of fairness and justice in the courts of law,” the lawyers stated.
They claim that the state violated Article 23 and 24 of the Constitution of Uganda which provides for respect of human dignity and protection from treatment.
Prosecution alleges that Namubiru unlawfully and negligently injected a baby with a needle contaminated with her blood while knowing the action could likely spread the infection of HIV, a disease that has no cure.