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Govt appeals sh1.8b award to Kaweesi murder suspects

By Farooq Kasule

Added 27th October 2017 06:27 AM

On October, 12, Justice Oguli awarded each of the 22 suspect’s sh80m on grounds that they had proved they were tortured in both military and Police confinements upon arrest

Govt appeals sh1.8b award to Kaweesi murder suspects

Andrew Felix Kaweesi

On October, 12, Justice Oguli awarded each of the 22 suspect’s sh80m on grounds that they had proved they were tortured in both military and Police confinements upon arrest

The Government has appealed against sh1.8b that was awarded to 22 suspects accused of killing former Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Yesterday, the Attorney General (AG) William Byaruhanga filed the application at the Court of Appeal on grounds that the award was unjustified.

"Take notice that AG being dissatisfied with the decision of Justice Margaret Oguli-Oumo, hereby appeals to this court against the judgement," the notice of appeal reads in part.

The notice says that the grounds of appeal will be filed shortly after obtaining certified court proceedings and judgment of the lower court.

On October, 12, Justice Oguli awarded each of the 22 suspect's sh80m at an interest rate of 20% on grounds that  they had proved beyond reasonable doubt  that they were tortured in both military and Police confinements upon arrest.

"Having perused through both the applicants and the AG's submissions, I am in no doubt that the applicants were tortured in the hands of military and police. Therefore, the AG is responsible for the torture inflicted on each of them." Oguli ruled.

These are Abdu-Rashid Mbaziira, Aramanzan Noordin Higenyi, Yusuf Mugerwa, Bruhan Balyejjusa, Umar Maganda, Ahamada Senfuka, Hassan Tusiime, Ibrahim Kissa, Osman Mohamed Omarite and Hamidu Magambo.

Others are Abdu Majid, Joshua Kyambadde, Sheikh Musa Ntende, Shafique Kasujja, Abdala Kaala, Sinani Hibwagi, Ali Mugoya, Asuman Mugoya, Swalleh Ddamulira, Sauda Ayub, Yusuf Nyanzi and Jibril Kalyango.  To date Maganda walks on crutch.

On April 21, the accused were produced before Nakawa Chief Magistrates' Court limping amidst allegations of torture and charged with Kaweesi murder.

Kaweesi was murdered together with his body guard Kenneth Erau and driver Geoffrey Mambewo on the morning of March, 17, 2017, meters away from his home in Kulambiro, Nakawa division. 

Oguli noted that torture is a violation of their constitutional guarantee to freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under Article 24 of the constitution.

The accused say that they were forcefully arrested, pepper sprayed in the eyes and ears, beaten with gun butts, frogged with their heads upside down, put on electric shock, blind folded, kept on chains, cut with machetes, their fingers were tied with rubber springs and sharp objects placed between them.

They also claimed that upon arrest the military and police took away their property which includes motorcycles and cash without exhibiting them.

They further says that they were forcefully arrested without  any reason and detained in un-gazatted military custody for over 60 days and tortured before charged in court which is violated their freedom from torture.

Oguli noted that no person deserves to be tortured because of investigations or obtaining information or confession from him/her for offence committed because it violates the right to freedom from torture.

Oguli also faulted the AG over failure to avail in court police form 24 where they were examined and instead relied on the evidence of investigating Officer Johnson Ola, who never participated in the arrest.

She also blamed the prison authorities for refusing African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) doctors to acess some of suspects for examination, which she said was a clear confirmation of the allegations.

 

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