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Jamil Mukulu withdraws bail application

Jamil Mukulu appearing in court via video link connecting to Luzira Prison. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The rebel leader of Allied Democratic Forces-ADF, Jamil Mukulu has withdrawn his bail application from the International Crimes Division of High Court without giving any reasons. The application was pending hearing before Lady Justice, Susan Okalany.

Mukulu’s decision to withdraw the application was communicated to court by his lawyers, Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusiima on Thursday afternoon. Their client appeared in court via video link from Luzira Upper Prison.

Prior to the withdraw of the application that was filed last month, Mukulu’s lawyers and the State Attorney, Marion Ben- Bella held a closed door meeting with Justice Okalany in her chambers. They immediately announced their decision to withdraw the application shortly after appearing in court.

The State Attorney, Marion Ben-Bella who said she was ready to proceed with the application didn’t object to the withdrawal. Justice Okalany endorsed the withdrawal and directed the Deputy Registrar of the International Crimes Division to fix Mukulu’s matter for hearing.

Last month, Mukulu told Justice Okalany in open court to step down from hearing his bail application for her alleged bias towards Muslims. Mukulu told Justice Okalany that she was quoted sometime back in the media saying she was afraid that Muslims would kill her.

It is on these grounds that Mukulu accused Justice Okalany of being bias towards Muslims saying she can’t dispense justice in his matter since he is also a Muslim.

Shortly after the court session, Mukulu got a chance to interact with his lawyers and family members via video conferencing. Wameli said Mukulu tearfully apologized to his mother, Aisha Nakiyemba for whatever wrong he could have committed.

Details of the case  

Mukulu was arrested from Tanzania and extradited to Uganda in 2015 on charges of terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery, attempted murder and being a member of a terrorist group, ADF. He is accused of commanding his co accused to acquire firearms, training in neighboring countries and funding for social, economic, political and religious motives.

Prosecution alleges that Mukulu and his group raided sections of Muslim communities most of especially those they disagreed with on particular matters like where to face while conducting prayers.  Some of those purportedly killed by Mukulu’s group are Sheikh Yunus Mandana and top Shia Cleric Daktoor Abdulqadir Muwaya who were gunned down.

The group is also accused of attacking Bugiri police station where two police officers, Karin Tenywa and Muzamir Babale were killed. In 2019, the International Crimes Division Court Judge Eva Luswata looked at the evidence the state intends to use against Mukulu and his co accused and found it sufficient to sustain 20 charges against them.

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