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Ruling on Nyanzi's trial scheduled for today

By Douglas Mubiru

Added 16th July 2019 06:30 AM

On Monday, Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu was scheduled to deliver her ruling in the matter but she instead deferred it to Tuesday on grounds that the only digitalized courtroom was being used by another magistrate.

Ruling on Nyanzi's trial scheduled for today

On Monday, Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu was scheduled to deliver her ruling in the matter but she instead deferred it to Tuesday on grounds that the only digitalized courtroom was being used by another magistrate.

COURT CYBER HARASSMENT

The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate's Court will today rule on whether or not to direct former Makerere University researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi to close her case for failure to produce witnesses.

On Monday, Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu was scheduled to deliver her ruling in the matter but she instead deferred it to Tuesday on grounds that the only digitalized courtroom was being used by another magistrate.

"I am unable to give my ruling because the courtroom we are meant to use is being used in rescheduling all capital offences via video conferencing system," Kamasanyu ruled.

Last week, none of her 19 witnesses in the cyber harassment and offensive communication case against Nyanzi appeared in the court, prompting Kamasanyu to seek indulgence from her lawyers Isaac Ssemakadde and Derrick Bazekuketa.

In reply, Bazekuketa requested for a month adjournment on grounds that they needed time to look for voluntary witness as allegedly guided by court.

"Your honor, we are requesting for a one-month adjournment to get voluntary witnesses as advised by this court," Bazekuketa submitted.

Bazekuketa submitted that there is a great inequality and biasness towards Nyanzi.

"We also put this to your consideration your honor, unlike prosecution, the prisoner in the dock has no police department or cyber certified unit, consolidated funding and completely skilled personnel with disposal. So, she should fairly be treated," Bazekuketa noted.

Bazekuketa informed court that they intend to make adverts in the newspapers with wide circulation calling for people willing to defend Nyanzi since the court had failed compel the summoned witnesses to testify.

Last Monday, Bernabus Mustapha Mugisa, a private certified hacking forensic investigator appeared in court but declined to testify in the matter, saying he does not understand the case.

Nyanzi who has been on remand since November last year was last month ordered to defend herself against the allegations.

 The mother of three instead opted to remain silent and summon witnesses to defend her.

She appeared jovial throughout the court proceedings lasted for about five hours.

Prosecution objects

However, prosecution led by resident state attorney Janat Kitimbo dismissed the defence claims as false and invited court to order the defence team to close its case.

"What is clear is that the accused person has no witnesses, but wants to fish witnesses from all over Uganda and the rest of the world.

The unpredicted tactics the defence is applying is aimed at prolonging this trial and bringing deceitful to this honourable court. We, therefore, pray court to compel defence close its case since they have no witnesses," State Attorney Timothy Amerit submitted.

Amerit wondered the kind of procedure Ssemakadde intends to adopt in the trial.

The charge

The prosecution alleges that on September 16, 2018, Nyanzi posted on her Facebook page indecent words against the president and his late mother Esteeri Kokundeka.

 According to the state, the said posts were intended to disturb their peace and right to privacy.

On April 10, 2017, Nyanzi was also charged in the same court with the same offenses but her trial never kicked off.

 The law

 Under the law, Any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb the peace or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-four currency points or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.

 In regard to Cyber Harassment, Any person who commits cyber harassment is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding seventy-two currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.

Also related to this story 

Stella Nyanzi witness declines to testify

Court declines to summon Museveni in Stella Nyanzi case

Stella Nyanzi put on defence over cyber cyber harassment

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