Military prosecutors have asked the Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF General Court Martial in Makindye for more time to respond to the bail application of 32 National Unity Platform-NUP party supporters battling charges of illegal possession of ammunition on the grounds that the investigator is out of the country.
The suspects are Yasin Ssekitoleko alias Machete, Robert Christopher Rugumayo, Ronald Mayiga, Patrick Mwase, Simon Kijambo, Muhydin Kakooza, Olivia Lutaaya, Abdu Matovu, Richard Nyombi, Olivia Lutaaya, Ronald Kijambo, Sharif Kalanzi, Joseph Muwonge, Mesach Kiwanuka, Abdalla Kintu, Umar Emma Kato and Musa Kavuma.
Others are Ibrahim Wandera, Asbert Nagwere, Steven Musakulu, Jimmy Galukande, Paul Muwanguzi, Kenneth Kamanya, Sharif Matovu, Shafiq Ngobi, Davis Mafabi, Abdallah Hakim Gibusiwa, Livingstone Katushabe Kigozi, Obalai Siraji Mudebo, Joseph Muganza and Stanley Lwanga. The group is being accused of being found in illegal possession of 13 explosive devices, which are ordinarily the monopoly of the defense forces.
According to the prosecution, the suspects committed the crime between November 2020 and May 2021 in areas of Jinja, Mbale, Kireka, Nakulabye, Kawempe, Natete, and Kampala Central. On Monday, the accused persons appeared before the General Court-martial chaired by Brigadier Robert Freeman Mugabe for further hearing of their bail application filed in January 2022. The prosecution was expected to respond to the bail application.
However, the prosecution led by Lt Col. Raphael Mugisha told the Court that the investigator in this case who was supposed to swear an affidavit responding to the bail application was deployed in Somalia and they were never informed by th suspect’s lawyers in time that the case had been fixed for today such that they can have him recalled.
According to Mugisha, they were supposed to respond to the application by June 22nd, 2022 but since their one-year term of office expired on June 9th 2022 , they did not make a response because they were uncertain about who would return. Mugisha added that, even around that time ,they did not know that the Investigator whose name he didn’t mention had been deployed in Somalia.
The suspect’s lawyer, George Musisi opposed the adjournment, saying that his clients have been on remand for sixteen months and that the formal application for bail was served on January 24th 2022. According to Musisi, it is unfair for the court not to hear the bail application on grounds that the Investigator is abroad. He asked the Court to go ahead and grant his clients bail.
Trouble for the accused persons started when Uganda Police Force accused them of plotting to carry out petrol bomb attacks targeting government vehicles and buildings in various places in the country.
Police claimed that the suspects masterminded attacks on Kasubi Royal Tombs, on former Jinja Resident City Commissioner, Eric Sakwa in Nakulabye, Uganda Registration Services Bureau, and Katwe police station among others.
They were arrested by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and arraigned before the Court Martial to face justice.
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