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Nyanzi case ends without testimony from defence witnesses

By Farooq Kasule, Douglas Mubiru

Added 16th July 2019 04:54 PM

She listed over 20 witnesses including President Yoweri Museveni who is said to be the complainant in the matter

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Dr Stella Nyanzi in the dock at Buganda Road Court on Tuesday. Photo by Wilfred Sanya

She listed over 20 witnesses including President Yoweri Museveni who is said to be the complainant in the matter

The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court has closed the Stella Nyanzi cyber harassment and offensive communication case without her defence.

On Tuesday, Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu said Nyanzi, also the former a Makerere University research fellow, failed to produce witnesses, leaving no option for the court but to direct the closure of her case.

“Court is aware the accused is at liberty to call witnesses to defend herself. However, this is the seventh time the matter is coming up for defence hearing but in vain. Therefore, the court takes it that the accused has no witness and it is left with no choice but to close the close,” Kamasanyu ruled.

Nyanzi who has been on remand since November last year was last month ordered to defend herself against the allegations.

However, the mother of three instead opted to remain silent rather than summoning witnesses to aid her defence.

She listed over 20 witnesses including President Yoweri Museveni who is said to be the complainant in the matter.

awyer saac semakadde confers his client yanzi hoto by ilfred anyaLawyer Isaac Ssemakadde confers his client Nyanzi. Photo by Wilfred Sanya

 

However, the court declined to summon him, saying it does not have the power to do so.

In light of Tuesday’s developments, Nyanzi still appeared jovial in court.

Last Monday, Barnabas Mustapha Mugisa, a private certified hacking forensic investigator and the only witness of the 20 to appear in court, declined to testify in the matter, saying he does not understand the case.

Immediately, after Tuesday’s ruling, defence lawyers Isaac Ssemakadde and Derrick Bazekuketa said the ruling came as no surprise to them, claiming the court has been expressing the utmost bias against the defendant.

When asked by the magistrate on when they will make their final submissions, Ssemakadde said; “The defence hands over to court because we have no further instructions in the matter at this stage.”

Outside court, Ssemakadde told journalists that the judgment which is slated to be given on August 1 is going to be clouded by the dust of conflict because 15 potential defence witnesses were shielded.

The case has been adjourned until July 23 when the prosecution is expected to make the final submissions in the matter.

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