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Family of rearrested Somali national seeks his production in court

The Building that Houses the Civil Division of High Court

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  The family of Abdul Kadir Mohamed Mahmud Sandir, a Somali national who was re-arrested after serving a four year jail term at Kigo Prisons is seeking his production before high court. An October 28th, 2019, production application before the High court Civil Division indicates that Sandir was re-arrested on October 14th, 2019 after being released from Kigo prison where he had served his four year sentence for aiding and abetting terrorism.

He was handed the jail term after entering a plea bargain with prosecution. According to the application, the ex-convict was waiting for transport when police officers ordered him to enter into a waiting Police vehicle and sped off to unknown destination. His brother, Mahmud Abdirashid Mohamed, contends in a sworn affidavit that they were together the day he was rearrested. He however, says that to date, he has neither seen him nor known where he could be held.

Through his lawyers of Asiimwe, Namawejje and Company Advocates, Abdirashid contends that it is now more than the mandatory 48 hours since his brother was re-arrested and his whereabouts are still unknown. “I have been to the Special Investigations Division in Kireka where I suspected he could have been detained and I inquired about my brother but I was ignored”, reads the document in part.

The Attorney General, Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola and the Commandant Special Investigations Unit of Police Kireka-SID, Elly Womanya are respondents to the suit. Sandir was first arrested in 2015 with seven other Somali nationals who were picked from Bukesa, Mengo and Kisenyi areas on charges of aiding and abetting terrorism. Police allegedly got information that the accused were to commit a series of attacks in Uganda since they were found with suicide vests.   

The others are Muhammad Abdulkadir Hirsi alias Muhamed Abdul Aziz Adan, Abduullahi Bootan, Hassan Abduwali Muhamoud, Muhamed Ahmed Gele, Yusuf Osman, Muhammad Yusuf Farah and Abdi Alli. In November 2018, the International Crimes Division pretrial Judge, Michael Elubu dismissed the charges against the group with the exception of Sandir and Abdi Ali.   

The Judge noted that prosecution had failed to table sufficient evidence to pin the six others on the crimes and only had enough evidence to pin Sandir and Abdi Ali on terrorism. The judge later set their co-accused free leaving the two in jail waiting for trial. 

However, before the trial could proceed, Sandir was able to enter a plea bargain with the Directorate of Public Prosecution admitting to have committed the offences against him. Sandir reportedly negotiated with the prosecution to hand him a four year jail sentence, which was accordingly endorsed by the International Crimes Division Judge, Margaret Oumo Oguli on October 14th, 2019.

Sandir was however supposed to walk freely since he had served the said four years while on remand. But State operatives rearrested him at Kigo Prison as he was trying to get transport means.  The Prosecution contends that the accused persons between September 2010 and 2014 in various countries including Somalia, Kenya and Uganda supported the Alshabaab Militia yet they knew that their support was being used to commit terrorism.

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