Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | Judge Margaret Oguli Oumo has ordered that the 22 suspects in the murder of former police spokesman AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi each be compensated sh80 million after the High Court in Kampala found that they had been tortured in detention.
Judge Oguli ruled on Thursday that the 22 suspects’ “rights to life and liberty were violated by government security officers, yet they are mere suspects and innocent till proved guilty.”
The judge based her decision on a medical report made by the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTRTVs), that revealed the suspects were found to be suffering from various ailments both physical and mental, and needed immediate medical attention.
Justice Oguli noted that she was in no doubt that the Kaweesi suspects were tortured and subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and that government security officers from police and military are responsible for the brutal acts meted on the 22 suspcts.
However, the judge could not grant their prayer to release them from custody due to the said mistreatment, saying they were still reporting to a court of competent jurisdiction for the pending murder case at Nakawa Magistrate Court.
She however ordered that the suspects be given medical treatment at Luzira Prison were they are currently detained pending trial, and that the African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims monitors their health and files a monthly report to court.
They will together get a sh1.76bn compensation. The judge also ordered that government pays them costs of this case.
— The Independent (@UGIndependent) July 25, 2017
Through their lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, the suspects dragged government to court in April this year following their arrest, that they claim was not carried out as required by the law.
The court has indeed found that they were violently arrested from different locations in the country, they were hooded, blindfolded and administered with unknown drugs before they were dumped in military custody were they spent over 60days being tortured.
None of the suspects was allowed to access a lawyer, a doctor or a relative which mistreatment the courts do not condone.
AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his body guard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Wambewa were shot dead March 17, 2017 at Kulambiro in Kampala.
— The Independent (@UGIndependent) March 17, 2017