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Court rejects request for torture probe by Kirumira murder suspect

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Wakiso Grade One Magistrate Martin Kirya has rejected an application seeking investigations into the alleged torture of Abubaker Kalungi, the key suspect in the murder of former Buyende District Police Commander Muhammad Kirumira.

Kalungi who had also used the same application to seek permission to be examined by private medical experts says that he was tortured during his arrest and detention at Kigo Prison leading to bruises on his head, and arms.

He had earlier asked court presided over by Wakiso Chief Magistrate Esther Nakadama Mubiru court to compel prison authorities to provide him medical treatment saying that he had not received any attention since his arrest on October 4.

Today, lawyer Ssakka Seggwanyi appealed to the magistrate to invoke his powers to order an investigation into the torture allegations and allow him access to private medical services. Seggwanyi said his client was in pain yet he was not receiving proper medication from Kigo prison.

However, the State prosecutor Mariam Kamushaba argued that the accused’s counsel had not adduced proof to justify the alleged torture. She, however, welcomed investigations into reports of torture.

But Kamushaba opposed the request for private medical care saying that all correction Centres have health care systems where inmates can receive treatment, an argument which was also sustained by the magistrate saying he had not been moved by all grounds presented by the lawyer.

Seggwanyi says they are going to appeal in the High Court.

Today was the first time that Kalungi was presented without chains. He was also given time to interact with his family members including his daughter in the presence of his lawyer.

Kalungi, who is currently on remand in Kigo prison, is the only suspect, among the scores arrested in relation to the shooting who has been arraigned in court. Kalungi had so far appeared for the mention of the case five times.

The prosecution says that the matter is still under investigation. A file on the matter was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions- DPP for review. The case will be brought for further mention on January 9, 2019.

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