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Kitatta is maliciously being prosecuted – Defence lawyers

By Michael Odeng

Added 27th November 2018 02:24 PM

The lawyers were making their submissions before the court to prove that Kitatta and 12 others have ‘no case to answer’

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Abudallah Kitatta gestures from the dock at the General Court Martial in Makindye during a hearing last October. (Credit: Juliet Kasirye)

The lawyers were making their submissions before the court to prove that Kitatta and 12 others have ‘no case to answer’

COURT MARTIAL-Defence lawyers representing jailed Boda-Boda 2010 patron Abdullah Kitatta have asked the Army court to set him free, saying he is being maliciously prosecuted.

The defence team led by Shaban Sanywa submitted to the General Court Martial (GCM) that the charges were brought against Kitatta by the state to purposely keep him away from society.

Sanywa was being assisted by Emmanuel Turyomwe and Martin Mututa.

“Prosecution has failed to adduce evidence showing that Kitatta was found in possession of a golden pistol and an SMG gun as alleged by prosecution witness Richard Kasaija,” he argued yesterday

The lawyers were making their submissions before the court Chairman Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti in order to prove that Kitatta and 12 others have ‘no case to answer’.

The lawyers asked court to release Kitatta and his co-accused, saying prosecution has not made out a case to warrant them offer an explanation on how they came to possess the guns and military uniforms.

Kitatta and 12 others are battling six counts including unlawful possession of firearms, live ammunitions, military head gears and uniforms, which are a monopoly of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF).

The military equipment includes two pistols, SMG rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition for the firearms, among others.

Kitatta separately faces five counts of being in unlawful possession of an SMG gun, 3 pistols and 50 rounds of live ammunitions that prosecution states were found with him on January 18, 2018 at Vine hotel in Wakaliga.

Others charged alongside Kitatta are Sowali Ngobi, Amon Twinomujuni, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Sebatta, Hussein Mugema and Ibrahim Ssekajja.

The lawyers contend that the state's bad faith is exhibited in failure to lead evidence from an independent witness such as the manager of Vine Hotel Wakaliga where Kitatta was allegedly arrested from and instead decided to rely only on the evidence of 4 UPDF officers (attached to CMI) to have Kitatta defend himself.

Sanywa has also faulted the state for failing to adduce the evidence of an investigating officer and any expert witness who would have guided court on what happened at the scene of crime (-Vine Hotel).

“If they had access to the footage caught on the CCTV camera or whether there were any forensic examinations done to establish if the golden pistol, ammunitions and military uniforms which prosecution brought as exhibits in court indeed had been touched by Kitatta,” Sanywa argued.

The Lawyer further contends that failure to bring any evidence inform of an endorsed search warrant and certificate to show who and how the said items were allegedly recovered from the offices of Boda-Boda 2010, moved and stored weakened prosecution’s case.

“Prosecution hides witnesses in bad faith because it knew that the evidence they would give would not be in their favour to place any of the suspects at the scene of crime because they had arrested all the accused before raiding Boda-Boda 2010 offices in Wakaliga,” Sanywa said.

Kitatta and his co-accused have so-far spent 10 months on remand at Makindye Military Police barracks and Luzira prison respectively.

The court adjourned the case to December 10, 2018 to enable prosecution respond to Kitatta's lawyers before it goes ahead to pronounce itself on the same.

RELATED: Kitatta’s lawyer fights expulsion from Court Martial

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