DPP withdraws charges against Maj Kiggundu murder suspects

Saturday February 27 2021
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This photo taken on February 26, 2021 shows Geoffrey Turyamusiima, lawyer of Andrew Kaweesi murder suspects, helping Abdul Shakul Musoke walk to the holding cell at International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kololo before they were released. PHOTO/ STEPHEN OTAGE

By U R N

Justice Jane Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn terrorism charges against 11 people who were accused of killing Maj Muhammad Kiggundu in 2017.

The suspects are Abdulaziz Abdushakur Musoke, Sulaiman Wayaba alias Bashir Lukenge, Bashir Nyangisho alias Abdallah Katata Byansi alias Abdallah Katata, Sulait Majid Lukwago and  Fikil Yusuf Alqaeda Abasi. 
Others are Abubaker Katende alias Baker Abby Abu Kakooza, Lukia Namulondo alias Maama Ashiraf, Malik Senabulya, Yasin Galiwango Kagwa, Usama Aula Mugozi alias Maliwa and Asuman Musijjo alias Uthman Taata Rajahana.
The suspects have been battling charges of aiding and abetting terrorism, belonging or confessing to belong to a terrorist organization and referring support to a terror organization. State Attorney Jackeline Okwir tabled the DPP’s letter withdrawing the charges against the accused persons before the International Crimes Division Judge David Wangututsi on Thursday afternoon when the matter came up for pre-conferencing.  
Okwir presented the February 18, 2021 letter in the presence of the suspect’s lawyers, Geoffrey Turyamusiima and Sylvia Namawejje. The accused persons didn’t appear in court because of the restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Shortly after receiving the letter, Justice Wangututsi ordered the immediate release of the accused persons from Luzira prison where they have been since they were remanded in 2017.  The suspect’s lawyer, Turyamusiima was happy with the decision but said they sue for the torture of their clients and also seek compensation for malicious prosecution.   
Prosecution had alleged that between 2010 and 2017 in various districts, the accused persons aided or abetted terrorism by mobilizing funds, purchasing commodities and harbouring recruits of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a terror organization. They reportedly did this while knowing or having reason to believe that the support would be applied or used in preparation or commission of acts of terrorism.
According to the charge sheets, the accused reportedly recruited, trained and transported ADF recruits from Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is also alleged that they belonged or confessed to belonging to ADF terror group that had a presence in districts such as Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Jinja, Iganga, Bugiri , Busia , Tororo, Masaka and Mbarara among others.     
According to the summary of the case, between October and November 2016, police received intelligence information that ADF had deployed its operatives from DRC to coordinate with their agents in Uganda and carry out terrorist attacks targeting high government officials, recruit members into ADF and mobilize funds to support ADF activities among others.  
Records also show that on November 26 2016, the accused persons participated in the murder of Kigundu and his bodyguard Sargent Steven Mukasa. The reports also showed that the prime suspect Musoke was carrying out surveillance while his colleagues were also in constant communication with seven others who are out on bail for killing former police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi and Kigundu. 
However, the accused persons maintained their innocence.