What you need to know:
- Let her [Atim] write to us clearly explaining why they still have the suspect so that court can be able to issue a production warrant to the right prison facility holding him
Drama ensued before Mpigi Grade One Magistrate Ezra Solomon Okem on September 19 after a prison officer contradicted herself over the location of an Israeli national Raed Wated, a man accused of killing his wife, Ms Monica Nabukenya .
It all started when Mr Okem asked Ms Jennifer Atim ,the principal officer of Kigo Prison on where Wated is currently remanded.
At first ,Ms Atim told court that the suspect is at Luzira Prison where he was transferred on orders of Mr Okem on August 29 2023. Mr Okem sanctioned Wated’s transfer to Luzira after he complained that his life was at risk at Kigo since he cannot receive necessary medical attention yet he is battling hernia.
But during the Tuesday session Wated’s lawyer, Mr Isaac Ayebazibwe interjected ,saying his client is still at Kigo, prompting Ms Atim to change her statement and told court that they (Kigo Prison) still have the suspect.
"I want to tell you [Atim] that court ordered for his [Wated] transfer to Luzira on August ,29 2023 ,but since then ,I have been following up this matter, but nothing has been done. Still to my dismay , my client has not been brought to court today, "Mr Ayebazibwe told court.
Ms Joy Apolot, the state prosecutor, also asked Ms Atim to make a clear statement informing court why they are still holding Wated at Kigo.
"Let her [Atim] write to us clearly explaining why they still have the suspect so that court can be able to issue a production warrant to the right prison facility holding him ." she said
When pressed further to explain why they still have the suspect at Kigo when court ordered for his transfer to Luzira, Ms Atim she said they have good medics to handle Wated’s medical condition .
“Your worship, there is no reason for transferring him to Luzira since he can still get the same treatment while at Kigo,”she said
Mr Okem asked Ms Atim who represented the officer in charge of Kigo Prison to organise a meeting between the inmate and his lawyer before October 3 when Wated is expected to reappear in court for mention of his case . Wated is facing murder charges.
"Please make sure you sit and talk with the inmate's lawyer so that you can have balanced position on this ," he said
In a letter dated August 31, Mr Ayebazibwe told the Commissioner General of Prison Services, Mr Johnson Byabashaija that some of his officers were present in court when the magistrate issued the order and wondered why they were reluctant to enforce it .
“We regret to note that despite your officers’ knowledge of the said Order which would have enabled our client to access immediate medical attention, the apparent intentional or negligent delay of his transfer has caused him [Wated] more pain. That could eventually have irreversible side effects on his health,” the letter reads in part.
"The purpose of this correspondence is to request that you [Commissioner General of Prison] prevail over the said officers and cause the immediate transfer of our client in accordance thereof.” it adds
It is not clear why Kigo Prison authorities want Wated to remain in their cells instead of transferring him to Luzira Prison as ordered by court.