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Ruling on Ondoga's case deferred over quorum

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th February 2015 05:59 PM

The General Court Martial has deferred a ruling on the request by the defense lawyer of Brig. Michael Ondoga and Lt. Col. Sam Kirya to dismiss charges against the duo to Friday.

Ruling on Ondoga's case deferred over quorum

The General Court Martial has deferred a ruling on the request by the defense lawyer of Brig. Michael Ondoga and Lt. Col. Sam Kirya to dismiss charges against the duo to Friday.


By Pascal Kwesiga and David Lukiiza                                            

The General Court Martial has deferred a ruling on the request by the defense lawyer of Brig. Michael Ondoga and Lt. Col. Sam Kirya to dismiss charges against the duo to Friday.


The Court Chairman, Maj. Gen. Levy Karuhanga on Wednesday told Ondoga and Kirya in Makindye, a Kampala suburb, he couldn’t deliver the ruling in absence of one of the seven-member-panel.

Ondoga, the former commander of the Ugandan military contingent in Somalia and Kirya, formally the contingent’s military information officer are accused of having supplied false information to the Special Forces Command of the contingent about the location of Al-shabaab terrorists in March 2013.

They are also accused of having failed to disconnect an illegal power connection from Aljazeera training wing of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to a telecommunications mast belonging to Hormud, a major telecom operator in June 2013.

The power was also reportedly connected to the residence of a civilian and private firm.

Their lawyer, Frank Kanduho, recently asked the court to dismiss charges against the duo on grounds that the state “bungled up” its case. He also stated that state witnesses dealt a death blow to the indictments with “fabricated” testimonies.

Kanduho submitted that the state “messed up” its case when it made no efforts to prove the major ingredients of the charges against the accused persons.

The State, he argued, failed to place Ondoga and Kirya in the briefing room at AMISOM base camp in Mogadishu where they allegedly supplied the SFC commanding officer, Maj. Asaph Nyakikuru, with false information about the location of Al-shabaab terrorists.

The prosecution, Kanduho, submitted made “an already bad case worse” when it failed to summon Lt. Col. Chris Ogwal, the ex SFC operations officer, who Nyakikuru claims attended the briefing.

“The State should have beefed up his (Nyakikuru) evidence with corroborative evidence of Lt. Col. Chris Ogwal,” he said. “For unknown reasons, Lt. Col. Chris Ogwal, was never called by the prosecution,” he said.

The generators that powered Aljazeera training center, Kanduho, argued were owned by the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM and they were being managed by AMISOM force command.

The State witnesses, he argued, failed to prove that the accused persons’ roles included connecting and disconnecting power.

 

Ruling on Ondoga’s case deferred over quorum

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