22 November 2017

Uganda: 'Kaweesi Suspects Whereabouts Unknown By Attorney General'

Fourteen days after military intelligence agents violently re-arrested some of the suspects accused of murdering AIGP An- drew Felix Kaweesi, the Attorney General on Wednesday told court he doesn't know where they are.

State attorney Allan Mukama surprised the court with this claim when an application of habeas corpus came up before Justice Stephen Musota.

The four suspects had been granted bail at Nakawa Grade One magistrates court but were snatched off the streets shortly after and bundled into unmarked cars which sped off to unknown destinations.

The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and police kept the public guessing over what could have become of them. Mukama's claim before Justice Musota flies in the face of the police's recent admission that the four are being held at the notorious Nalufenya police detention facility.

"The attorney general isn't in possession of the applicants," Mukama said. "The attorney general's office is not in the know that its servants or agents are in possession of the applicants."

Mukama's submission came as a shock since on November 13, 2017, Asan Kasingye, the then police spokesperson, had admitted that the suspects were at Nalufenya where they were detained after being handed over by CMI. On November 7, Umalu Maganda, Ahmed Senfuka, Ibrahim Kisa, and Abdul Majidu Ojeger were granted bail by Nakawa Grade One magistrate Noah Ssajjabbi only to be re-arrested as they headed home.

Shabbily dressed men brandishing guns first trailed the suspects from court before pouncing on them at the Spear Motors junction along the Kampala-Jinja highway. Two days later, through Wameli & Company Advocates, the four applied before the civil division of the High court to be released unconditionally.

Mukama told the judge that the attorney general, who is the government's principal legal adviser, wasn't opposed to the application.

"The attorney general is willing to assist this court to find out whether they are [being] held legally or not," Mukama said.

Wameli had asked the judge to compel the attorney general to produce the four since they have been held "incommunicado" beyond the constitutionally laid out timeline of 48 hours.

"It's very clear now that they are being held unconstitutionally," Wameli said. "Yet there no signs that they will be charged in court soon."

Though Wemali passionately argued, Justice Musota told him that his case, though unopposed by the attorney general, seemed to be dead on arrival.

Musota pointed out that Wemali had filed the application wrongly since each of the four applicants should have filed a separate application.

"These are different individuals who might have different issues," Justice Musota said. "It's the practice here that you file each of the applications separately."

"You are ordered to file four different applications and this case will be heard tomorrow [Wednesday] at 3pm," Musota said.

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