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Court bans journalists from covering Kayihura tapes case

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Mr Ronald Poteri (L) with his lawyer Shaban Ssenywa leave the magistrates chambers at Buganda Road Magistrate Court yesterday. Court has started hearing his case but in camera. Photo by ABUBAKER LUBOWA 

By BETTY NDAGIRE

Posted  Thursday, June 26   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Risk. Prosecution says the trial should be heard in camera on grounds that the evidence in the case is of security nature and likely to cause disorder in police.

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Kampala.
Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court yesterday barred journalists from covering the trial of a police detective who is accused of stealing recordings of investigations from the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, and leaking them to the public.

The ban came after State lawyer Lino Anguzu sought court to hear the trial in camera on grounds that the evidence in the case was of security nature likely to cause disorder in police and Cabinet leadership.

“The suspect, Mr Ronald Poteri, is facing charges of wrongful communication and leaking information which is likely to be given as part of evidence during the trial,” Mr Anguzu said.

Confidential
He said the evidence available reveals police investigation tactics, adding that police officers will testify revealing some confidential information which might cause undesirable impact fracas once published.

Magistrate Lillian Bucyana agreed with the prosecutor’s concern and ruled to hear the case in her chambers without journalists.

The State alleges that in March at the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) headquarters in Kampala, Mr Poteri, being in possession of an official secret entrusted to him as a person holding an office of the government, passed on the confidential information to persons not authorised to receive it.

Two months ago, the head of the Political Crimes Desk, Mr Fred Mirondo, told the Daily Monitor that the recordings in question were of Gen Kayihura talking to Mr Alex Kasirivu, an NRM supporter in Kayunga District.

About the recordings
The recordings are part of the 87 tapes of different persons interviewed in an ongoing investigation into an alleged plot to assassinate Gen Kayihura.
The police records indicate that Mr Poteri handed them to Ms Jacqueline Mbabazi, the wife of Prime Minister,

Mr Amama Mbabazi.
Ms Mbabazi, who addressed a couple of press conferences in the past months, said she had recordings of Gen Kayihura coaching youth to pin her husband Mr Mbabazi as having presidential ambitions to contest against President Museveni in 2016 general elections.

bndagire@ug.nationmedia.com