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Kaweesi murder case: Suspects want court to terminate trial over torture

By Farooq Kasule

Added 25th August 2020 02:33 PM

The group was arrested following the gruesome murder on March 17, 2017, in Kulambiro, Nakawa division in Kampala

Kaweesi murder case: Suspects want court to terminate trial over torture

The suspects in the Andrew Felix Kaweesi murder case at Kampala High Court on August 17.

The group was arrested following the gruesome murder on March 17, 2017, in Kulambiro, Nakawa division in Kampala

Eight suspects indicted for the murder of former Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi have petitioned court to declare their trial a nullity on grounds that they were tortured during arrest.

Abdul-Rashid Mbaziira, Aramanzani Noordin Higenyi, Yusuf Mugerwa, Bruhan Balyejusa, Joshua Magezi Kyambadde, Jibril Kalyango, Yusuf Siraje Nyanzi and Shafik Kasujja lodged their application at International Crimes Division of the High Court on Friday.

The group was arrested following the gruesome murder of Kaweesi on March 17, 2017, in Kulambiro, Nakawa division in Kampala. He was murdered together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Geoffrey Mambewa.

The accused say they were tortured by security organs while being arrested, which is contrary to the provisions of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012 and the Trial Indictment Act.

In October 2017, court awarded the suspects sh1.7b after it ruled that they were tortured on arrest.

Retired High Court judge Margaret Oguli-Oumo based her decision on a medical report from African Centre for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV).

Suspects protest

Meanwhile, Higenyi and Mbaziira currently on remand on other charges of child trafficking have protested against their trial via conferencing technology.

On Friday, the duo asked court to allow them appear physically, saying they cannot ably follow proceedings via video conferencing.

"My Lord, we were tortured which occasioned us visual and hearing impairments and it is difficult for us to hear arguments in court and cannot even tell whether the judge trying us is a female or male," Higenyi told High Court judge Duncan Gaswaga.

The prisons authority stopped ferrying inmates to court as a precautionary measure against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

This prompted that judge to order the Commissioner General of Prisons, Johnson Byabashaija and the officer in charge of the inmates of Luzira Upper Prison to allow defence lawyers led by Ladislaus Rwakafuzi access to the two accused persons to forge a way forward.

Charges

The summary of evidence tended in court by the DPP indicates that Mbaziira admitted participating in the planning and execution of the murder of Kaweesi DPP says Mbaziira also revealed to the Police that the assassination of Kaweesi was ordered by the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a terrorist organisation.

Mbaziira allegedly further disclosed that ADF plotted to assassinate top government officials and that Kaweesi was among those on their hit list.

Prosecution alleges that the group between January and March 2017 in the districts of Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Jinja, Iganga, Bugiri, Busia and Tororo for purposes of influencing the Government involved themselves in the murder of Kaweesi.

It further alleges the accused used a gun and robbed Erau of a rifle SMG serial number POL 56- 3686844-04683 and a pistol serial number UG.POL 007315.

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