Kampala — The suspended Makerere University research fellow, Dr Stella Nyanzi has asked court to order the Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) AIGP Grace Akullo, to appear in court to respond to questions that will be put to her as a defence witness.
Dr Nyanzi made the plea on Wednesday after defence witnesses failed to show up in a case in which she is accused of harassing President Museveni and insulting his late mother.
Through her attorney, Mr Isaac Ssemakadde, the research fellow as well wants court's indulgence to issue warrants of arrest to two of her other defence witnesses who are; Prof Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala of Makerere University School of Law and Mr Mustapha B. Mugisa, a member of the Institute of Forensics and ICT Security.
"Your honour, AIGP Akullo is our star defence witness, our whole case is pegged around her. On July 5, our clerk effected service of court summons to those three people. That is a classic example of diligence, so condemnation that defence is delaying to bring witnesses should not surface," Mr Ssemakadde said.
Mr Ssemakadde urged that it was impractical for the three witnesses to fail to report court without giving any excuses.
He added that they had not yet summoned other witnesses because of resource constraints as their clerk is facilitated by Centre for Legal Aid, so the clerk had to travel to Kabale on Monday to deliver summons to another defence witness.
In reply, the state prosecutor, Ms Janat Kitimbo asked court to compel defence to close its case of witnesses as it appears to have failed on the matter. The defence had listed 19 witnesses.
"Prosecution during its trial, it was at all instances compelled to bring witnesses without fail. It was rebuked were it made an attempt not proceed. Your honour, since that happened to prosecution, nothing less should happen to defence, this should be maintained within the realms of a fair trial," Ms Kitimbo said.
She added that there is no justification to issue a warrant of arrest to any of the defence witnesses as sought for by defence, but there is justification for court to order defence to close its case, so as to enable either sides to proceed with making final submission.
In her ruling, the trail magistrates, Ms Gladys Kamasanyu opted to issue summons to all the 19 defence witnesses before adjourning the matter to July 11.
Prosecution contends that on September 16, 2018, Dr Nyanzi posted on her Facebook page suggestions deemed obscene against the President's deceased mother.
It is stated that she also repeatedly posted messages to disturb or attempted to disturb the peace, quiet or right to privacy of the President. This is the second time police are accusing Dr Nyanzi of allegations of abusing President Museveni and his family.