In their appeal, the convicted group list 10 grounds which they want the Court of Appeal to base on to set them free.
KAMPALA - Jailed Tabliq leader, Sheikh Muhammad Yunus Kamoga, who was in 2017 sent behind bars for life over terrorism, has hired top city lawyer MacDosman Kabega to join his legal team in a bid to have his conviction set aside.
Kabega, who is famed in criminal law for getting suspects off the hook, joined lawyers Fred Muwema, Friday Roberts Kagolo, Twaha Mayanja, Charles Nsubuga, Allen Kagoya and Lamula Nalujja to represent Kamoga and his co-convicts at the Court of Appeal.
The other convicts are Sheikhs Siraje Kawooya, Murta Mudde Bukenya, Fahd Kalungi, Abdu Salaam Ssekayanja alias Kasim Mulumba and Yusuf Kakande.
A coram of three justices of the Court of Appeal headed by Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo on Monday directed the appellants' (convicts') lawyers and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to file written submission in the matter.
“The appellant’s lawyers are given 14 days to file and serve their written submains to the DPP. The DPP is also given 14 days to file a reply. The appellants are allowed five days to make a rejoinder, if any,” Owiny-Dollo ruled.
The other justices are Elizabeth Musoke and Cheborion Barishaki.
In their appeal, the group list 10 grounds which they want the Court of Appeal to base on to set them free.
According to their memorandum of appeal, the appellants are faulting the three-justice coram, claiming that they erred in law and fact, alleging that they failed to properly evaluate the evidence before them as they applied to the law of terrorism.
They also blamed the trial court for relaying what they described as uncorroborated circumstantial evidence that led them to a wrong decision.
The appellants further claim that the trial court made a mistake by convicting them without compelling allegedly substantiated and corroborated evidence to support alleged attacks and threats to members of “Jamiya Daawa Asalafiya” Muslim sect.
They also blamed the trial judges for convicting them of the offence of terrorism on the basis of the evidence of fliers, which as of itself did not discharge the prosecution of proof for the offence, thereby arriving at a wrong decision.
They also accuse the trial lower court judges of erroneously convicting them of the offence of terrorism basing on hearsay evidence relating to the wrangles in the Muslim community that was lacking in any probative value to prove the evidence or at all.
They are blaming the trial justices of convicting them for the offence of terrorism on the basis of the same evidence that court used to acquit them for the offences of murder and attempted murder.
The appellants faulted the trial court for sentencing Kawooya, Kamoga, Bukenya and Kalungi on what they described as an illegal, severe, harsh and unconscionable principle of their leadership status in their Muslim sect.
They also faulted the trial court in law and fact by sentencing Sekayanja and Kakande basing on a wrong, severe, harsh, illegal unconscionable principle of being followers of their leaders.
They further faulted the trial court in law and fact for failing to put into consideration their mitigating factors.
They are proposing to ask the appellate court to set aside the trial court’s judgment and sentence in respect of the conviction and set them free.
However, the DPP maintains there was sufficient evidence to support their conviction on both terrorism and murder.
In 2017, the International Criminal Division of the High Court presided over by justices Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Percy Night Tuhaise and Jane Kiggundu convicted the appellants of terrorism, but cleared them of the charge of murder of sheikhs Mustafa Bahiga and Hassan Kirya.
Muhanguzi and Tuhaise have since been promoted to the Court of Appeal.
The court sentenced Kawooya, Kamoga, Mudde Bukenya and Kalungi to imprisonment for the rest of their lives.
Ssekayanja and Kakande were jailed 30 years.