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UPDF Col. Held Over Smuggling

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th May 2003 03:00 AM

THE UPDF commander of the Eastern Region Reserve Forces was yesterday remanded by the Military General Court Martial on two charges related to smuggling.

By Solomon Muyita
and Herbert Ssempogo

THE UPDF commander of the Eastern Region Reserve Forces was yesterday remanded by the Military General Court Martial on two charges related to smuggling.

Lt. Col. Michael Dradiga, a resident of Makerere in Kampala, is accused of using his official vehicle, Mitsubishi number H4DF042, to smuggle goods.

He was charged with unauthorised use of an army vehicle and aiding and abating the commission of the offence of smuggling.

Dradiga was arrested by the Special Revenue Protection services, allegedly with Supermatch cigarettes.

Clad in full military fatigue, a seemingly weak Dradiga told the court in Kiswahili that, “I accept the offence, but I was not the one in the vehicle.”

The court, presided over by Lt. Gen. Elly Tumwine, recorded a plea of not guilty on the advice of Judge Advocate Capt. Wilson Mwesigwa.

The reason was denial of the charges, the Court heard.

Tumwine ordered that Dradiga be remanded in Makindye Military Police Barracks until today for the court to hear the State’s reply on his bail application.

Through the court’s Defence Counsel, Sgt. Mugerwa Lukwago, Dradiga applied for bail, claiming to have a terminal illness that cannot cope with prison life.

The State prosecutor, WOII Enock Odongo, applied that the case be pushed to today for prosecution to reply to the accused’s bail application.

The Court Martial is expected to give its verdict on the bail thereafter.
Ends

UPDF Col. Held Over Smuggling

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