Besigye charged afresh with treason, further remanded

Dr Kizza Besigye at Nakawa Magistrates Court on Wednesday. Photos by Abubaker Lubowa

KAMPALA. Former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye has this morning been produced before Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court where charges of treason were read to him afresh in absence of his lawyers.

Treason being a capital offense, Dr Besigye was not allowed to plead to the charges.
He was subsequently further remanded to Luzira prison until June 1 when his case will be read again to court and with the state updating the court on how far they have gone with investigations.
At exactly 8am, a convoy of security cars snaked into the premises of Nakawa court and among the cars in the convoy was a prisons van that had carried Dr Besigye.
He was straight away taken to the court’s holding cells amid heavy security deployment.

Besigye spent about 20 minutes in the holdings cells before he was brought to the open courtroom at about 8:20am.
At about 8:30am, Chief Magistrate James Ereemye made his way into the court room and immediately the charges of treason were read to him afresh.
The magistrate cautioned Dr Besigye not to say anything since Chief Magistrates Court does not have jurisdiction to hear out treason charges.
Before the treason charges were read to him, Besigye was asked whether he has a lawyer to represent him and in response he said he did not have one on grounds that he did not want to involve lawyers in his case.

Shortly after the treason charges were read to Dr Besigye, he asked court for permission to hear out his grievances. He said his concerns are in regard to the fears of where he is being detained.
Court allowed him to air out his fears but half way, senior state attorney, Ms Doreen Elima interjected by asking court not to further entertain his concerns on grounds that such concerns should be raised before the High Court that has jurisdiction.

But Dr Besigye chipped and said his fears don’t concern the High Court and that it is all about him living in fear.
“ If I am mistreated where I am being detained, I am here to air out the same and you are sending me away,” Dr Besigye told court.

But Magistrate Eremye over ruled Dr Besigye saying he should wait and tell High Court his fears.
After his arrest on Wednesday last week when he skirted a 24-hour security surveillance at his Kasngati home and made a surprise appearance in Kampala City, Dr Besigye was charged with treason at Moroto Chief Magistrates Court on May 13 and remanded to Moroto government prison where he spent three days.
He was transferred to Luzira prison on Monday after his relatives secured a production warrant.
Prosecution alleges that Dr Besigye and others at large between February 20 and May 11 of this year in diverse places of Uganda formed an intention to compel by force or constrain the government of Uganda as by law established to change its measures or counsels as to the lawfully established methods of acceding to the office of president of the Republic of Uganda as by law prescribed and manifested such intention by overt acts and utterances such as;

(i) Between February 20 and May 11 20, 2016 at various places in Wakiso and Kampala districts Dr Besigye demanded for an independent international audit be conducted before a new president can be sworn-in.
(ii) On April 7, 2016 at Kasangati in Wakiso district, Dr Besigye uttered words to the effect that he would establish a cabinet for the republic of Uganda.
(iii) Between February 20 and May 11, 2016 at various places in the districts of Kampala and Wakiso Dr Besigye declared himself the winner of presidential elections
(iv) Between February 20 and May 11, 2016 at various places in the districts of Kampala and Wakiso Dr Besigye defied lawful authority and mobislised people to his swearing as president of the republic of Uganda
(v) Rtd Col. Dr Besigye unlawfully took the oath of presidency and undertook to execute the functions of the office of the president of the republic of Uganda.