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Court martial acquits two officers convicted over fuel theft

By Joan Murungi

Added 15th September 2017 12:38 PM

Kattinda added that prosecution failed to prove the appellants’ appearance at the Movement Control and their role in loading fuel on the vehicles.

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Kattinda added that prosecution failed to prove the appellants’ appearance at the Movement Control and their role in loading fuel on the vehicles.

COURT MARTIAL|AMISOM

The UPDF is part of the AMISOM contingent

The General Court Martial (GCM) has set free two people who were in 2016 sentenced to 18 months in prison for offloading fuel from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) fuel vehicles and loading it on vehicles of Somalis outsidethe AMISOM base.

The court presided over by the Judge Advocate, Gideon Kattinda, set free the accused on grounds that the GCM, sitting in Makindye convicted the two basing on inadmissible hearsay evidence.

“We have already revealed that trial court relied on inadmissible hearsay evident to convict the applicants,” he ruled.

Kattinda added that prosecution failed to prove the appellants’ appearance at the Movement Control (MOVCON) and their role in loading fuel on the vehicles.

MOVCON is an organisation responsible for personal movement within and outside the theatre of United Nations Support Office for AMISON.

Those acquitted are WO II Mathew Kakooza, a traffic officer and PteNoah Mwanja, an electrician under the engineering brigade component.

Prosecution alleges that on June 5, 2016, the accused persons were found at the AMISON base camp offloading fuel from AMISON fuel vehicles and loading it on vehicles owned by Somalis.

The African Union Mission (AMISOM) is an active, regional peace keeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia.

The two appellants were arraigned before the contingent division court martial sitting at the base camp based in Mogadishu, Somali over the accused offence.

They were tried, convicted and each sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.

Being dissatisfied with the judgment, the convicts appealed on grounds that GCM had no facts and failed to evaluate the evidence as a whole occasioning a miscarriage of justice since it based on hearsay.

They also argued that court convicted them basing on an improper sum-up of evidence and passed a harsh sentence.

At the commencement of their trial before the general court martial sitting in Makindye, the accused were charged with personal interest endangering operation efficiency c/s 124(b) of the UPDF Act 2005.

 

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