Kampala. A lawyer defending Mr Amama Mbabazi’s former aide on charges of absconding from duty, has abandoned him, citing miscarriage of justice.
Mr Kangye Mugabi on Thursday said he had withdrawn from the case against Pte Emmy Katabazi because of abuse of his client’s right to bail.
“We made an application for bail and the prosecution did not oppose it, but court instead refused to grant him bail and adjourned for a ruling. Today, they are telling us that court members have not convened to deliberate on the ruling and three times now, there is no witness, while my client is languishing in the prison,” said Mr Mugabi at the military court in Makindye, Kampala, on Thursday.
However, the military court, on the advice of the Judge Advocate, Lt Col Gideon Katinda, declined to put Mr Mugabi’s complaint on record, saying the instructions were between him and his client.
Mr Mugabi said his decision was prompted by the prosecution’s application for a two-week adjournment, which was granted by court, to enable the State summon witnesses purportedly from the diverse areas of the country to testify. Army prosecutor Maj Raphael Mugisha told the military court that the witnesses were coming from higher institutions of learning whose academic term is at its peak and could not be readily available.
“Whereas court has discretion on bail, it should be used judiciously and not maliciously. And this court, being a court of record, I don’t want to be an accomplice in the miscarriage of justice,” Mugabi said.
Mr Mugabi complained that the adjournment was detrimental to his client and asked the court to direct prosecution to expedite the trial.
Prosecution states that between May 21 and May 27, 2015, Pte Katabazi, a soldier attached to Internal Security Organisation (ISO) headquarters in Nakasero, without authority left the said duty station and went to diverse places.
Pte Katabazi has denied the charges.