Ssewanyana, Ssegirinya ask court to halt trial
What you need to know:
- In the constitutional petition, the law makers are, among others, seeking to declare their trial a nullity on account that they were tortured in the process of re-arresting them upon being granted bail.
Opposition MPs Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) have asked the High Court to halt their trial pending determination of a constitutional petition challenging the legality of the proceedings.
The legislators, through their lawyers led by Mr Evans Ochieng, yesterday sought court’s indulgence on how to proceed now that a constitutional petition had been filed.
The court was presided over by Justice Alice Komuhangi Khaukha.
In the constitutional petition, the law makers are, among others, seeking to declare their trial a nullity on account that they were tortured in the process of re-arresting them upon being granted bail.
The other reason is that they are being subjected to almost similar proceedings in two different courts both in Kampala and Masaka.
There is also another pending petition filed by lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi, seeking to stay the said trial of the MPs on the basis that the splitting of the charges against the accused persons in two different courts amounts to political persecution.
The main case had come up for pre-trial yesterday when the requests by the defence lawyers were made.
The prosecution led by Mr Richard Birivumbuka was ready to proceed with the pre-trial.
In her brief ruling, Justice Khaukha said she will pronounce herself on April 3 on whether to have the two applications seeking stay of trial of the MPs consolidated or not.
However, the co-accused to the MPs, objected to the adjournment of the case, reasoning that they have clocked one year and nine months in prison without being granted bail and also tried.
The co-accused, who were further remanded to Luzira prison, are Jackson Kanyike, John Mugerwa, Bull Wamala, and Mike Sserwadda.
The lawmakers, who are out on bail, are accused of being behind the spate of killings in Greater Masaka in 2021 that left at least 26 people dead. They deny the charges.