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18 suspects petition rights body over arrest

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By Anthony Wesaka

Posted  Friday, December 6  2013 at  02:00
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Kampala- Eighteen suspects, who were indefinitely remanded to Luzira prison following the suspension of the activities of Anti-Corruption Court in July, have petitioned the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), citing violation of their rights.

Led by Dr Charles Omayo, the suspects in their October 29 petition, state that being detained indefinitely without trial violates the Constitution which guarantees purposeful detention and a speedy trial.

The group, who face various corruption charges, also claim that their remand warrants documents expired in August but were not extended as stipulated by the law.

“Our present indefinite detention without trial is a violation of and contravenes our constitutional right to justice, liberty, lawful and purposeful detention as provided for by Articles 2, 28 (1) and 126 of the Constitution,” reads the letter.

Concerns
“The purpose of this letter is to request the Uganda Human Rights Commission to exercise its functions and powers as provided for by Article 52 and 53 of the constitution to investigate and if possible issue orders to provide legal remedy to our plight,” the letter adds.

In July, the Constitutional Court stayed all the criminal proceedings that were going on in the High Court Anti-Corruption Division and those arising from the magistrates pending the determination of the main petition, now pending judgment.
Efforts to reach the chairperson of UHRC, Mr Med Kaggwa, were futile as he did not pick our repeated calls by press time.

But in a recent interview with the Acting Chief Justice Steven Kavuma, who was also one of the justices on the panel that heard the main application challenging the constitutionality of the magistrates attached to High Court Anti-Corruption Division, said all the pending judgments including this one in question, would soon be delivered.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com