Two-day Court of Appeal criminal session opens in Masaka

Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera and Lady Justice Eva K. Kavuma during the first special Court of Appeal session at Masaka High Court on June 7, 2023. PHOTO | GERTRUDE MUTYABA

The Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera has launched the hearing of 30 criminal cases by the Court of Appeal in Masaka.
The hearing session will last for two days at Masaka High Court where appeals between 2013 and 2015 will be handled.
The sessions will be presided over by Justice Buteera, Lady Justices Catherine Bamugemereire and Eva K. Kavuma.
The cause list includes 14 murder cases, robbery (6), defilement (8) and one rape case.
While addressing the media, Justice Buteera said that the judiciary is planning to recruit more judicial officers at the Court of Appeal to solve the problem of case backlog.
“It is true that the appeals are delayed due to lack of judges at the court of appeal but we are engaging the Parliament and the executive to see that they give us more, currently the court of appeal has 12 judges for the whole country yet we are handling the appeals from over 77 judges of the high court,” Justice Buteera said on Wednesday.
Justice Buteera said that they are planning to open up court of appeal branches in districts of Masaka, Arua, Jinja, Mbale and Mbarara and this according to him will save a lot of time prisoners spend in prison and as well as mitigate the issue of case backlog.

A big number of the appellants are appealing against the sentences given to them, saying that the sentences were harsh and excessive given the circumstances of the cases they committed.

The court also heard that one of the appellants had died in prison after getting sick, and the court had received a document from prison confirming his demise, and the state asked the court to   remove this case from the court record.