Suspect in the kidnapping of US tourist appears in court

Thursday April 18 2019

 

By Monitor Reporter

A prime suspect in the kidnapping of Ms Kimberly Sue Endicott, an American tourist and her guide, Mr Jean Paul Mirenge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, early this month, has been produced in court.

Onesmus Byaruhanga, alias Kaliisa, alias Kawonawo, alias Kasurubana, 43, a resident of Kisamba Cell, Southern Ward, Kanungu Town Council and Nyanga Cell, Kihiihi Town Council, in Kanungu District, has been charged with aggravated robbery, and two counts of kidnap with intent to procure a ransom.

Court that was presided over by Mr Andrew Katurubuki, heard that Byaruhanga and others still at large, armed with a gun, kidnapped Ms Endicott and her guide Mr Mirenge on April 2nd.

According to the charge sheet, the incident occurred at Edward Flats inside Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The suspects, according to prosecutors, stole Ms Kimberly’s mobile phone valued at Shs1 million. They are also accused of stealing $850, Shs1.5 million and two mobile phones valued at Shs2 million from Mr Mirenge.

The suspects also robbed a binoculars valued at Shs3 million from Ms Kimberly’s father identified as Martin Jurrius.

Mr Jurrius is among the tourists who were not abducted after the raid by the suspects.

Mr Katurubuki, did not allow the suspect to enter plea on grounds that he committed a capital offence which is beyond his jurisdiction. 

He remanded the suspect to Kanungu District Government Prison until May 2nd when the case will come up for mention.

There are reports that the kidnappers, who had demanded a $500,000 (Shs1.8 billion) ransom, were given $30,000 (113 million) by the state before releasing the abductees.

Meanwhile, police said in a Thursday statement that the force, together with other security agencies have “dismantled criminal gangs” that have been kidnapping innocent people.

The statement added that more suspects are being processed and operations to arrest the known remaining perpetrators of the criminal kidnapping enterprise is still ongoing.

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