What you need to know:
- The group led by Muhdyin Kakooza tasked the Court Martial chairman, Brig Gen Freeman Robert Mugabe to explain why they have spent about two years in prison without trial.
At least 32 National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters who were arrested during the 2021 presidential elections have protested delayed trial before the General Court-Martial at Makindye in Kampala.
The group led by Muhydin Kakooza tasked the Court Martial chairman, Brig Gen Freeman Robert Mugabe to explain why they have spent about two years in prison without trial.
The group had appeared before the court on Tuesday for trial but the prosecution led by Maj Elly Karuhanga informed the court that the state witness did not appear, so the trial could not go ahead.
This prompted Kakooza to loudly protest the prosecution’s submissions while asking the court to at least convict them and they start serving their respective sentences rather than being kept on remand without trial.
Kakooza was immediately apprehended by the Court Martial orderlies, dragged out of the dock, and returned back to the court cells.
“We have been on remand for close to two years now over trumped-up charges. We are yet to be tried all this long and every time we appear before this court we are told that the prosecution is not ready. We are being tortured and are tired, we better get sentenced or released,” he shouted.
After the fracas, Brig Gen Freeman ordered that the suspects return to court on February 21, 2023 expecting the prosecution and defence sides to have reached a common ground.
This is not the first time Kakooza is loudly protesting before the court over prolonged remand. Last year, he lashed out at former court head Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti who ordered to have him mentally examined.
The suspects’ lawyer, Mr George Musisi said they plan to petition the Constitutional Court to address this human rights violation happening at the military court.
Prosecution alleges that between November 2020 and May 12, 2021, in diverse areas of Jinja, Mbale, Kireka, Nakulabye, Kawempe, Nateete and Kampala Central, the accused were in possession of 13 pieces of explosive devices, a monopoly of the Defence Forces.