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Court recalls 4 witnesses to testify in battered journalist case

By Farooq Kasule

Added 29th February 2016 11:27 PM

Prosecution alleged that on January 12, 2015 at Namirembe Road in Kampala, former old Kampala DPC Joram Mwesigye assaulted a WBS TV journalist Andrew Lwanga

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Journalist Andrew Lwanga is wheeled by a nurse ahead of his admission at Kampala Hospital in Kololo.

Prosecution alleged that on January 12, 2015 at Namirembe Road in Kampala, former old Kampala DPC Joram Mwesigye assaulted a WBS TV journalist Andrew Lwanga

The victim and three other witnesses in the battered journalist case will have to face cross-examination again after the Buganda Chief Magistrate Court on Monday granted permission to the accused to recall four witnesses who had earlier testified in the matter.

Chief Magistrate, James Karemani accepted the argument given by defense (Joram Mwesigye’s) lawyer that his former lawyer during the trial had not conducted the cross examination of the witnesses well.

Prosecution alleged that on January 12, 2015 at Namirembe Road in Kampala, former old Kampala DPC Joram Mwesigye assaulted a WBS TV journalist Andrew Lwanga while covering a demonstration by a group of unemployed youth, damaging his nervous system.

Mwesigye is also accused of damaging two video cameras belonging to Lwanga and a Vision Group journalist and charged with assault and malicious damage. Mwesigye who appeared calm in court has since been interdicted.

Karemani partly allowed the plea of Mwesigye’s lawyer, while making it clear not to repeat any question which had been already put to the witnesses during the first cross examination by the earlier lawyers.

The court said that keeping in view the principle of justice that fair trial is the main objective of criminal procedure; it is the duty of the court to ensure that such fairness is not hampered or threatened in any manner. 

“Fair trial is a constitutional as well as a human right which cannot be jeopardized under any circumstance” Karemani said

Mwesigye through his lawyer Obed Mwebesa filed a plea to recall at least four witnesses in the case including the victims, investigating officer and doctors who conducted the medical examination of the victim and the accused.

enipher wanga the mother of the battered journalist speaking at uganda oad ourt hoto by dward isoma Jenipher Lwanga the mother of the battered journalist speaking at Buganda Road Court. Photo by Edward Kisoma.

 

Meanwhile, State attorney Patricia Cingatho asked court to adjourn the matter to summon the witnesses.

“We humbly request court for a short time adjournment to summon the witnesses and make arrangements for the main victim who is undergoing treatment to attend court” Cingatho said

The matter was adjourned to March 18th for cross examination.

Mother thanks Museveni

Lwanga’s mother Jenipher Lwanga commended President Yoweri Museveni for offering sh20m to help her son undergo treatment.

She also expressed concern about his condition which she said was worsening every other day.  

“I am very saddened by Lwanga’s condition because he cannot sit. When I consulted the doctors, they told me that his nerves and spinal code were greatly affected by strokes” Jenipher said.

Lwanga was set to undergo surgery at Kampala International Hospital after President Museveni paid his hospital bills.

Jenipher who travels from Mpigi district to attend the court proceedings decried the delayed trial which she says costs her up to sh20,000 per trip.

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