The Arua Grade One Magistrate, Swaleh Asiku has acquitted Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Francis Zaake of charges of escape from lawful custody.
On February 22, Zaake was charged with escaping from lawful custody and released on non-cash bail of Shs50m. He was ordered to report to the court every month.
On Friday, June 21 Asiku ruled that Zaake had no case to answer.
“The fact that the police left the accused (Zaake) at the hospital unguarded, meant that he was not a suspect. I now acquit the accused because he has no case to answer,” Asiku ruled.
Upon receiving the ruling, Zaake expressed his gratitude and appreciated the judge for seeing the ‘light.’
“We have met a lot of hardships in this case, and we have spent a lot but I thank the judge for seeing the truth,” said Zaake.
“Through my counsel, Hon. Medard Ssegona we are pursuing the case further such that security personnel involved in my torture can be brought to light and also Mr. Museveni to compensate us for all the costs I’ve incurred during my frequent monthly trips to the West Nile. This victory is not mine, it is the people’s victory. I will make an official statement in the due course. Thanks all that have stood with me in this trying moment.”
Ssegona also thanked the judge for following the books of both the hospital and the Gulu police cell.
“Zaake’s name was not in the books of Gulu police post where they claim that they had arrested him from, everything they were doing was to wrong. Zaake was in pain and good Samaritans took him into the hospital,” said Ssegona.
Zaake and Kyaddondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi who is commonly known as Bobi Wine, were among the 33 suspects arrested in Arua on allegations of stoning President Museveni’s convoy on August 13, 2018, during the Arua Municipality by-election campaigns.
The suspects in Arua were tortured in detention where Kyagulanyi and Zaake were advised to seek specialised treatment abroad.