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Magistrates to try defilement cases

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd September 2007 03:00 AM

CHIEF Magistrates can now try people suspected of defiling girls aged between 14-17, the Police said yesterday.

CHIEF Magistrates can now try people suspected of defiling girls aged between 14-17, the Police said yesterday.

By Herbert Ssempogo

CHIEF Magistrates can now try people suspected of defiling girls aged between 14-17, the Police said yesterday.

Spokesman Asan Kasingye told journalists that President Yoweri Museveni had assented to amendments in Magistrates Courts (Amendment) Bill 2006, which was unanimously passed by Parliament recently.

Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi recently tabled amendments to the law before Parliament. This followed a backlog of defilement cases in the High Court.

The move, Kasingye said, would ensure that justice is delivered in time and efficiently.

“If a girl between the ages of 14 and 17 is defiled, the maximum sentence will be life imprisonment.”
He added that cases of victims aged between one and 14 will still be handled by the High Courts.

Defilement cases were previously tried by the High Court, which handed out death as the maximum sentence.

Kasingye, flanked by Kampala Extra Police spokesman Simeo Nsubuga and acting traffic and road safety commissioner, however, stressed that it is only the Chief Magistrates who will handle the defilements cases.

About 38 defilement cases were recorded in Kampala last week, bringing the number to about 100 in three weeks.

Kasingye said only five defilement cases were recorded countrywide over the weekend.

He added that they had put in place measures to ensure that the rate of defilement reduces. These include banning beach parties and issuing guidelines to entertainment centres.

The Police spokesman commended the Nabagereka, Sylvia Nagginda, for organising seminars, which he said keep teenagers busy.

Meanwhile, Nsubuga said seven pedestrians died in Kampala last week down from nine people who died in the previous week.

Of the 199 accidents, 121 were slight, while 71 were serious.

Some 78 people sustained serious injuries, while 12 were minor.
Nsubuga added that a total of 485 mobile phones were stolen in the city last week.

He appealed to the public to record the phones’ serial numbers for service providers to easily trace the culprits.

Magistrates to try defilement cases

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