The State has dropped Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti, the former African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force commander, as a witness against, Brig. Michael Ondoga, the ex-commander of the Ugandan military contingent in Mogadishu
By Pascal Kwesiga
The State has dropped Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti, the former African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force commander, as a witness against, Brig. Michael Ondoga, the ex-commander of the Ugandan military contingent in Mogadishu.
Gutti, who was replaced by Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa from Burundi as the AMISOM force commander, had been summoned to court by prosecution to testify against Ondoga, his junior.
The state summoned him three times, but he failed to turn up.
The defense team asked court to dismiss the charges against Ondoga claiming that prosecution doesn’t have evidence against the accused and that it’s playing delaying tactics by mobilizing more witnesses against him.
Gutti would have been the ninth witness to testify against Ondoga. He is accused of having failed to perform his duties as contingent commander, failure to disconnect an illegal power connection from AMISOM base camp in Mogadishu to civilian premises, providing false reconnaissance about the location of the Alshabab and failure to brief among others.
Ugandan deployed peacekeepers in the horn of African nation in 2007 under the auspices of AU.
Ondoga is alleged to have committed the offences between 2012 and 2013. His lawyer, Frank Kanduho, has asked court to dismiss charges of failure to disconnect an illegal power connection and supplying false reconnaissance to the Special Forces Command component of the contingent about the enemy’s location because the state has failed to make out a case against the accused. The court is yet to make a ruling on Kanduho’s requests.
The state prosecutor, Maj. Fred Kanduho, informed court on Friday that they had dropped Gutti from a list of their witnesses and closed their case after producing eight witnesses in court.
“Trying to get this witness (Gutti) is likely to cause unnecessary delays. We hereby close our close,” he added.
Kangwamu asked for a record of proceedings of the trial which will inform the state’s final submissions. The case was adjourned to February 27.
State drops Gen. Gutti as witness against Ondoga