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State wants Nyanzi convicted over offensive communication

By Douglas Mubiru

Added 22nd August 2019 12:32 PM

Earlier this month, the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates’ Court, Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu acquitted Nyanzi on offensive communication and convicted her on cyber harassment.

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Stella Nyanzi in court (File photo)

Earlier this month, the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates’ Court, Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu acquitted Nyanzi on offensive communication and convicted her on cyber harassment.

KAMPALA-The state has appealed to the High Court in Kampala against the acquittal of Dr. Stella Nyanzi on the offence of offensive communication.

Earlier this month, the Buganda Road Chief Magistrates’ Court, Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu acquitted Nyanzi on offensive communication and convicted her on cyber harassment.

After the conviction, Nyanzi, the former Makerere University researcher fellow, was jailed 18 months.

The trial magistrate acquitted her on offensive communication on grounds that the Facebook post in issue was not repeated and prosecution did not prove that the post in issue disturbed the peace, quiet or right of privacy of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

It is against this background that the state has gone to the High Court to show its dissatisfaction and challenge the lower court decision.

The state’s appeal is based on three grounds on which it accuses the learned magistrate in the lower court to have erred in law and fact when she held that the Facebook post in issue was not repeated leading to the unlawful acquittal of Nyanzi.

The state also alludes that Kamasanyu erred when she stated that prosecution failed to prove that the post in issue disturbed the peace, quiet or right of privacy of president Museveni with no purpose of legitimate communication.

The last ground is that the learned magistrate failed to properly evaluate the evidence on record, by arriving at a wrong conclusion by acquitting Nyanzi thus leading to miscarriage of justice.

 r tella yanzi removes her top in protest after she was sentenced via video link  ile photo Dr. Stella Nyanzi removes her top in protest after she was sentenced via video link. (File photo)

 

“The state prays that this honorable court allows this appeal, sets aside and reverses the judgment of the trial magistrate acquitting Nyanzi on offensive communication but maintains the conviction and sentence on cyber harassment,” the appeal reads in part.

However, the state entreaty comes weeks after Nyanzi too, through her lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde appealed to the same court to quash her conviction and set aside or vary her sentence.

Prior to the appeal, Nyanzi’s application based on ten grounds accusing Kamasanyu of allowing her on a charge that was incurably defective, unacceptably vague, bad and barred by law.

That she prematurely closed the defence case and failed to accord Nyanzi necessary facilities to compel the attendance of witnesses and thereby infringed on her right to a fair hearing. 

Related stories 

Stella Nyanzi guilty of cyber harassment

Stella Nyanzi demands High Court review in cyber case 

Nyanzi gets 18 months, undresses in court

 

 

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