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Police boss back to jail

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th August 2009 03:00 AM

The court yesterday reinstated murder charges against former Mukono district Police commander James Aurien and remanded him in Luzira Prisons again.

By John Semakula
in Mukono

The court yesterday reinstated murder charges against former Mukono district Police commander James Aurien and remanded him in Luzira Prisons again.

The case comes back to the Mukono Magistrate’s Court on September 3.

Aurien is accused of murdering his wife Christine Apolot on April 20, whom he accused of cheating on him.

However, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) ordered his release on July 27, after a key witness disappeared.

The DPP said the charges would be reinstated if the witness, Akello, who is Apolot’s sister, was found.

Aurien’s release caused an uproar among human rights activists and the media, which probably prompted the Police to re-arrest him on Monday, after about three weeks of freedom.

Yesterday, prosecutor Deborah Itwau told the court that Aurien shot and killed Apolot at their home in Lugazi Police Barracks on April 20, last year.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said on Monday that working with the DPP, the Police had evaluated other evidence on the basis of which Aurien had been re-arrested.

She said the trial would proceed as the hunt for the key witness continued. “The key witness will be found,” she vowed.

Apolot’s mother said Akello was picked from home in Serere, Soroti by Aurien’s son called David Mpangi and taken to an unknown place.

While the Police admit Mpangi works with the Force, they said they were investigating reports that he took away Akello.

During his brief appearance in court yesterday, Aurien said he was charged without the knowledge of his lawyer and denied the chance to plead. However, he said, he was asked to apply for bail in the High Court.

In an exclusive interview with The New Vision, Aurien said he had been treated like a convict since his re-arrest. “I was denied chance to talk to my relatives. Although I reported to the Police voluntarily when they called me, the manner in which I was arrested was inhuman,” he said.

He also asserted that since his release he had been looking for Akello, but in vain.

Akello went into hiding because she feared to appear in court and give false testimony against him as she was being pressurised to do, he said.

Aurien allegedly shot Apolot in the eye after accusing her of having an extra-marital affair.

The Police chief, who allegedly bundled the body and dropped it in front of Lugazi Police Station, first went into hiding but later handed himself in to the Police.

Before his re-arrest, the Uganda women lawyers association said they would pressure the DPP to use the new “crucial clues” to trace the missing witness.

Police boss back to jail

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