Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | The murder trial of Pine car bond Proprietor Muhammad Ssebuufu kicked off Monday before the High court’s Criminal Division in Kampala.
Ssebuufu is accused of torturing to death business woman Donah Betty Katusabe over failure to clear a nine million shillings debt, which was balance of a car purchase she had made from his bond.
Ssebuufu is appearing before Justice Flavia Anglin Ssenoga, who has first read the charges to him again, and maintained his earlier plea of not guilty.
He says on the fateful day October 21, 2015, he was attending court at Mengo and not at the crime scene- pine car bond along Lumumba Avenue in Kampala.
He is however being tried for murder, aggravated robbery and kidnap.
Ssebuufu and others are alleged to have kidnapped Katusabe from her home in Bwebajja along Entebbe road, drove her to the Pine car bond, where they allegedly used pangas and sticks to torture her to death.
Prosecution also says the accused robbed Katusabe of her mobile phone worth 300,000shillings.
They had been earlier charged with former Kampala CPS DPC Aaron Baguma but the DPP has since withdrawn charges against him.
Ssebuufu wanted to plea bargain with the State.
Court also heard that Pine car bond murder key suspect Muhammad Ssebuufu, had written to the DPP expressing interest in the plea bargain program where one pleads guilty to an offense in exchange for a lenient sentence.
However according to State Attorney Wilfred Ahimbisibwe, neither Ssebuufu nor his lawyer Noel Nuwe perused the matter to its conclusion, until today when he has changed his guilty plea.
Ssebuufu and seven others have pleaded afresh to the charges, denying their involvement in the alleged murder of business woman Donah Betty Katusabe, on October 21, 2017 at Pine car bond along Lumumba Avenue in Kampala city.
The accused persons have also refused to listen to first prosecution witness Kobusingye Annet, saying they need more time until Thursday this week to study the evidence on record and prepare for their defense.
Trial Judge Anglin Ssenoga has now adjourned the case to February 08, for hearing.