Kampala. The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura’s, request to the Judiciary to overhaul the current criminal justice system that he said favours criminals and not law enforcers was roundly rejected by the Chief Justice.
Gen Kayihura said the 48-hour rule that requires police to investigate suspects and have them produced in court is not practical as it’s a short period to get evidence against suspects, especially those facing terrorism charges and organised crime.
Speaking on behalf of government security agencies at the requiem service of killed senior principal State attorney, Joan Kagezi at St Luke’s Church in Ntinda, Gen Kayihura said if they arrested her killers and confess the crime, they will be subjected to rules that hamper their work.
“The criminal justice system needs overhauling as its gives advantage to criminals, including those who killed Joan. This means, you have to get evidence within in 48 hours, something that even the British who introduced it have since departed from,” Gen Kayihura told mourners.
“My law is a bit rusty now but I know there is a provision in the Constitution that, technicalities should not subvert substantive justice. So how do you reconcile that my lord, Chief Justice?” he asked.
However, in response, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe acknowledged the IGP’s suggestion but hastened to caution that this should be done with care not to compromise the basic principles of justice.
“If I may also quote from ‘Man of all seasons’, when Sir Thomas Moore was asked to amend the law to suit the King’s bidding, he was told to cut down all the forest of the law to get at the devil. He answered, ‘If I cut down all the forest of all, where will you hide when the devil turns against you?” Justice Katureebe said.
“Let’s be very careful. The people who killed Joan, didn’t believe in the rule of law. Those people wanted to frighten us, they wanted to make us panic. That is not necessary. Let’s not fall into their trap and pass laws which will actually run down the rule of law,” he added.
The IGP had eulogised Kagezi as a partner with security agencies in cracking crime.
Gen Kayihura said in the tradition of the security agencies, Kagezi died in the line of duty at the hands of senseless assassins.
He said the prosecutor was crucial in the investigation of the 2010 bomb attacks, the ADF killings where she assured the police that there was enough evidence to have Sheikh [Jamil] Mukulu and his accomplices tried.
Jinja Magistrate’s Court on Thursday said when Sheikh Mukulu and Austrian-based Ugandan cardiologist, Dr Aggrey Kiyingi, don’t appear in court in two weeks, an international arrest warrants will be issued against the duo.
They are accused of sponsoring terrorism activities and murders that recently rocked the Busoga region. The police boss also promised mourners that they are doing everything possible to have Kagezi’s killers brought to book, soon.
“I pledge that we shall not sit until those who took the life of Joan are brought to book,” he said
The president of the Uganda Law Society (ULS), Ms Ruth Sebatindira, said they had put a bounty for whoever will give information leading to the arrest of the killers.
The Vice President, Mr Edward Sekandi, who represented government, said they were committed to protecting citizens from wrong elements.
Battle is now on our doorsteps
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Justice Mike Chibita, said the killers had instead re-energised them to prosecute criminals. “I want to assure you we shall execute the mandate given to us without fear or favour. If the killer of Joan thought by killing her they would have sown seeds of fear, intimidation and death; instead they have they have succeeded in galvanizing the army of the legal profession. “The battle has been brought to our door steps. Should we to the bedroom and hide under the beds? No,...we shall stand our ground and fight back...” He asked government to name the road where Joan was killed as “Joan Kagezi Road” .