Court sets date to hear bail application by Nile Treasure Gate bosses

Nile Treasure Gate bosses before Justice Susan Okalany of the International Crimes Division of the High Court on Tuesday. Photo | Juliet Kigongo 

What you need to know:

  1. The suspects are the two directors; Mr Abubakar Sulaiman Kato, 33, Ms Mariam Muhammad, 31, and other members who include; Mr Mohammed Salmah, 43, a board member, Mr Ali Hassan Male, 38, a treasurer, and Ms Jeniffer Milly Naluga, 32, a supervisor.

The International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court has set October 26 to rule on whether to hear the bail application of five employees of Nile Treasure Gate, a labour export recruitment firm, who are facing charges of aggravated trafficking in human organs.

The suspects are the two directors; Mr Abubakar Sulaiman Kato, 33, Ms Mariam Muhammad, 31, and other members who include; Mr Mohammed Salmah, 43, a board member, Mr Ali Hassan Male, 38, a treasurer, and Ms Jeniffer Milly Naluga, 32, a supervisor.

These are jointly indicted with their company Nile Treasure Gate Ltd.

Prosecution led by Mr Joseph Kyomuhendo has asked the presiding judge, Ms Susan Okalany to dismiss the bail application on grounds that it was very premature for her to entertain a bail application yet she is only handling a pretrial whereby she is only required to confirm the charges and the evidence presented against the accused.

The group was arrested for allegedly using deceitful means to recruit and make preparations to send, receive and confine a one Judith Nakintu to Saudi Arabia for purposes of removing her kidney.

“Under the Trial and Indictments Act and the Regulations governing the international Crimes Division, a Judge presiding over a pretrial hearing cannot hear a bail application by the accused persons,” Mr Kyomuhendo said. 

“An accused person can only seek bail after their charges have been confirmed by the presiding pretrial judge who forwards the file for full hearing before a panel of justices,” he added.

Court heard that it is premature for the accused to seek bail since prosecution has not yet made full disclosures as the charges are also not yet confirmed.

The state also asked for one month to conclude with the investigations in the matter as they wait for the remaining evidence from their team that went to Saudi Arabia where the offence was committed.

However, through their lawyer, Mr Caleb Alaka, the accused argued that the Supreme Court has already pronounced itself that bail can be granted at any stage of the case, thus points raised by the state cannot surpass the constitution.

Court ordered both parties to file written submissions within a week and a decision will be delivered via mail on October 26.

Prosecution alleges that the company, its bosses and others still at large between December 2019 and October 2021 between Kampala District and Saudi Arabia organized, facilitated or made preparations for sending to receiving or confining of Nakintu by means of fraud or deceit or abuse of power of position of vulnerability for purposes of removal of a body part or organ.

It is further stated that for the purpose of exploitation, Nakintu suffered mutilation or suffered a life-threatening illness thereafter.

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