Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Director of Public Prosecutions has tabled more evidence that she intends to use to prosecute the murder and terrorism cases against the Kawempe North Member of Parliament, Muhammad Ssegirinya, and his Makindye West counterpart Allan Ssewanyana.
The two legislators are jointly charged with 5 others including Jackson Kanyike, John Mugerwa, Bull Wamala, Mike Sserwadda, and Jude Muwonge. On November 21, 2021, Masaka Chief Magistrate’s court committed the seven for trial in the High Court.
They are facing a string of charges including murder, attempted murder, aiding and abetting terrorism stemming from the greater Masaka machete killings between March and June 2021, which claimed more than 20 people.
On Thursday, the prosecution led by the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Lino Anguzu told Lady Justice Jane Elizabeth Alidviza during the pretrial hearing that they shared statements from 19 people, some of whom they intend to rely on as witnesses during the trial.
The statements were later marked in court in the presence of the Judge as required by law. Anguzu explained that they have already filed an exparte application seeking to conceal the identities of seventeen other would-be witnesses in the case.
The additional statements are in addition to a heap of other documents containing medical reports, scene of crime photographs, and postmortem reports among others that were presented by the prosecution last month to pin the suspects. The defense lawyers led by Caleb Alaka and Shamim Malende didnt raise any objection.
Nevertheless, Malende told court that they had filed a bail application on behalf of Ssegirinya and Ssewanyana and wanted the court to set a hearing date since they were advised by the Court of Appeal that the International Crimes Division of the High Court has the jurisdiction to grant bail to their clients.
Geoffrey Turyamusiima, another defense lawyer asked the court to release Jude Muwonge arguing that he was never committed to facing trial before the International Crimes Division of the High Court.
He explained that the documents in their possession from DPP do not include Muwonge among those committed for trial, which shows that the prosecutors do not have evidence against him.
In his response, Anguzu said that he was not sure about the issues raised by the defense lawyer, saying that he would consult and return with feedback during the next pretrial session. After hearing from both sides, Lady Justice Jane Elizabeth Alidviza adjourned the case to September 1st, 2022, and directed the prosecutors to conclude the disclosure of the evidence they have against the accused persons.
The suspects have been in jail since September 2021. They have further been remanded back to Kigo prison until next month.