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DPP asked to respond to Dr. Stella Nyanzi pending criminal charges

Dr Nyanzi outside court recently.

Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | Buganda Road Court has given the State Attorney prosecuting  Makerere University Senior Researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi one  month to consult the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) on when trial in this case should start.

This follows a demand by defence lawyer Peter Walubiri on Friday, asking that prosecution either presents it first witness or have the matter withdrawn, if the intention of the state in preferring these charges was not to have his client declared insane.

However  Resident State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya informed court that the matter was coming up for mention,  but that it would also be prudent to wait for the outcome of the constitutional petition Dr. Stella Nyanzi filed. She filed a petition challenging the Mental Treatment Act,  arguing that it has a direct bearing on the pending criminal case.

Chief Magistrate James Eremye Mawanda then granted the state until  August 21, saying he did not hear Muwaganya inform court whether he had sought the necessary consultation from the DPP, on how to proceed in this case.

Last month Buganda road court halted Government’s move to ascertain the mental status of Dr. Stella Nyanzi, pending disposal of her petition challenging the Mental Treatment Act of 1938 which was enacted during colonial era with an intention of subjecting  suspects  to compulsory  Mental Treatment.

Dr. Nyanzi  is facing charges of offensive  communication and cyber harassment against the person of the President.

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