8 June 2006

Uganda: Army Court Bans Media Coverage

Kampala — THE army court banned media coverage yesterday of a case in which UPDF officer Maj. Noel Niwe Drago is accused of giving classified information about the army to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) during the last presidential elections.

The court chaired by Gen. Elly Tumwine said the evidence on record was sensitive and that it would jeopardise national security if adduced in open court

This followed an application by the prosecutor, Maj. Richard Kacunguka, who said the evidence was made up mostly of tape recordings of conversations between the suspect and witnesses about his links with the FDC president.

Drago, a commanding officer of the 71st battalion before President Yoweri Museveni sent him to Kimaka, also reportedly assisted some UPDF officers to flee the country for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Denmark.

A former aide to former army commander Gen. James Kazini, Drago who hails from Kyamugoranyi near Mbarara district was arrested a month after the presidential elections.

Prosecutors allege that on March 4 while at Rhino Pub, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Drago made utterances which were "injurious to the cohesion of the defence forces."

Drago reportedly made the utterances while meeting Lt. Michael Katungi.

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