Judgement for American national set

By Julius Luwemba

During his final defence, Mathias Paul Roger, the accused, said he did not have knowledge of the cartridge allegedly found in his bedroom by the security team that conducted a search.

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The judgement for American national being charged with illegal possession of ammunition has been set for June 28 after both the prosecution and defense sides tendered in their final submissions on Wednesday before the Entebbe chief magistrate Her Worship Mary Kaitetsi.

During his final defence, Mathias Paul Roger, the accused, said he did not have knowledge of the cartridge allegedly found in his bedroom by the security team that conducted a search. "When they came, they went straight to my bedroom and brought out bins of cartridge which they opened for me saying I was illegally possessing ammunition," stated Mathias.

He went ahead to describe the cartridge as seemingly having been somewhere in store for more than twenty years. "Having been in the forces, I was able to ascertain that the cartridge which was shown to me, had been kept somewhere in store for quite a long time," noted Mathias.

He told court that his estranged wife Lilian Kaitetsi was former security personnel in one of the security forces in Uganda who is still earning pension. However, he was not able to adduce evidence regarding the matter, only quoting the alleged information as having been told to him by the wife before they fell out.

Through his lawyer Laudislus Rwakafuzi, Paul Rogers further informed court of how he was tortured from Nalufenya detention centre after being arrested from his home in Bwebajja along Entebbe road. "After spending six hours at Katwe Police Station, I was whisked to Nalufenya in company of armed men, where I spent 14 days without any bed-cover," further narrated Mathias.

The American national also informed court of how he has been unable to access his home since then, under directives of (former IGP) Kale Kayihura through the Kajjansi Division Police Commander.

In his final submission, Rwakafuzi urged court to dismiss the case on grounds that, Lillian Kaitetsi who allegedly tipped police about the firearms, never showed up in court during the subsequent hearings to tender in her evidence about the same.

"The area chairperson told this court that the search was conducted in only one room, implying, anyone who had tipped the police knew exactly where the cartridges were and yet it was also very clear that apart from the defendant, only Lillian had access to that bedroom," stated counsel Rwakafuzi.

The counsel for defense also told court that Lillian who had already filed for divorce, was responsible for planting the cartridge to justify her divorce and domestic violence cases.

However, prosecution led by Macbeth Agumenitwe refuted Mathias' defence as baseless since he could not produce evidence to support his allegations. "The accused has not produced any documentation to prove that his wife is a security operative nor any written order allegedly from Kaihura restraining him from accessing his home," quashed Ms. Agumeneitwe.

Mathias Paul Rogers an American is being charged with illegal possession of ammunition without certificate contrary to section 3(1) and 2(a) of the fire arms Act cap 229. Prosecution alleged that on 19/02/2018 at Bwebajja village in Wakiso district, the accused had in possession 37 live ammunition without a certificate.

A related second case under file number CRB 163/17 indicated that on 18/03/2017, Mathias Paul Roger 57years, an American national born of Rhode Island- Florida, had in his possession a firearm, to wit, a pistol colt number PL42191 without a valid certificate.

A third count read; on 18/03/2017 at Entebbe international airport in Wakiso district, the accused had in his possession 128 live ammunition without a valid certificate.

Mathias Paul Roger was arrested on 10/02/2018 following a tip-off from Lilian Kaitesi his estranged wife, prompting police to uncover a number of US army uniforms, guns, ammunition, knives, and pepper spray among other military store. He was later taken to Nalufenya police detention for interrogation. 

Preliminary investigations had revealed that the weapons and other military equipment despite not being cleared to enter the country, passed through Entebbe Airport.