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Ex-Mbabazi aide, Katabazi denied bail

By Michael Odeng

Added 21st January 2016 11:15 PM

Maj Gen. Levi Karuhanga ordered prosecution led by Maj. Raphael Mugisha to ensure that Katabazi gets an expeditious trial

Ex-Mbabazi aide, Katabazi denied bail

If convicted Pte. Emmy Katabazi faces a maximum sentence of four years' imprisonment.

Maj Gen. Levi Karuhanga ordered prosecution led by Maj. Raphael Mugisha to ensure that Katabazi gets an expeditious trial

The General Court Martial on Thursday declined to grant bail to the former aide to presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi accused of absconding duty and making public statements without army authority.

The court chairman, Maj Gen. Levi Karuhanga agreed with prosecution that if Pte. Emmy Katabazi, 51, is granted bail; he will interfere with the investigations and continue to intimidate witnesses.

"Having served in various positions in government, you are likely to interfere with investigations since state witnesses are members of your community whom you can meet at any time while on bail," Karuhanga rued.

Karuhanga also noted that prosecution had shown commitment to speed up the trial of the accused, saying that no sooner had he (Katabazi) been arrested, he was immediately arraigned in court and charged.

Nevertheless, Karuhanga ordered prosecution led by Maj. Raphael Mugisha to ensure that Katabazi gets an expeditious trial. Karuhanga further remanded Katabazi to Makindye Military barracks until February 9, 2016 when he is expected to appear in court for the hearing of his case.

Katabazi's lawyer Caleb Kangye Mugabi had presented three sureties to secure bail for him (Katabazi) but all in vein. He earlier on argued that the accused have no intentions of jumping bail and interfering with investigations. 

The sureties were his wife Jackline Katabazi, Sande Kateregga and two ISO employees - Pte. Walter Oromchan and Pte Gloria Dania. 

Katabazi, attached to the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), was arrested on October 8, arraigned before the GCM on November 3 and detained at Makindye Military Police headquarters in Kampala. 

Donning UPDF uniform, Katabazi looked distraught in a fully packed court after the court chairman dismissed his bail application. The court session, which lasted for about 10 minutes, was attended by friends and relatives of the accused.

Prosecution alleges that Katabazi between May 21, and 27 this year, while deployed at the ISO headquarters, Nakasero, without authority left the said place where his duties required him to be and went to diverse places in Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Arua and Yumbe district.

It is further alleges that in the same period, while in those various places, Katabazi without proper authorization from the UPDF appropriate authorities, made public speeches, thereby contravening rule 2 (1) of code of conduct for the defence forces.

Once convicted, Katabazi faces a maximum sentence of four years' imprisonment for the charge of absence without leave and two years for conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline of the army and thereafter dismissal from UPDF with disgrace.

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