In his Constitutional Court petition, Mabirizi argues that the additional charges brought on a different criminal file amount to political persecution, which he says is unjustifiable in a free and democratic society and needs the interpretation of the constitutional court.
Male Mabirizi at Buganda Road Magistrates Court.
Jailed city lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi has petitioned Masaka High Court to halt the criminal trial of Kawempe North Member of
Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya and his Makindye West counterpart, Allan
Ssewanyana until the Constitutional Court determines his petition challenging the legality of new charges preferred against them.
The two legislators are jointly charged together with Wilson Ssenyonga for among others murder, attempted
murder, terrorism, and abetting terrorism acts. In his petition recieved by the Masaka High Court Registrar on Friday, Mabiriz wants the court to halt the planned hearing of the accused's third bail application.
On Tuesday, Masaka High Court Resident Judge Lawrence Tweyanze fixed between February 13th and 15th, 2023 to hear and determine the legislators' bail
applications ahead of their prosecution. However, in his application, Mabirizi argues that he petitioned the Constitutional Court and sued the Director of Public Prosecution-DPP, the
Attorney General for slapping additional charges against the legislators
moments after they were released on bail for murder in September 2021.
When the police re-arrested the MPs in September 2021, the DPP instituted additional charges of murder and terrorism, saying that detectives had obtained evidence pinning them for the murder of Joseph
Bwanika on August 02nd, 2021. In his Constitutional Court petition, Mabirizi argues that
the additional charges brought on a different criminal file amount to political persecution,
which he says is unjustifiable in a free and democratic society and the interpretation of the constitutional court.
He also contends that the additional charges deprived the
MPs of the Shillings 20 million they each paid for bail, arguing that this shouldn't have been the case had the state presented an amended charge
sheet without necessarily re-arresting the MPs. Mabirizi wants the trial against the legislators halted until his constitutional court petition is
“There is a threat of conducting the proceedings before the determination of the petition since the matter is now fixed for hearing between February 13th and 15th, 2023. The applicant together with
the two MPs will suffer irreparable injuries if the application is not granted,”
According to Mabirizi, his constitutional court petition has
come up for hearing twice but could not take off because three Justices of the panel disqualified themselves but Court promised to re-fix it as soon as possible. He prefers that the hearing date of his petition be fixed before February 13th, 2023 such that events do not overtake it.
also request for a production warrant addressed to the In-charge of Luzira upper
prison to enable me to argue the application since I represent myself,” he adds in
the application. The Masaka High Court Registrar Julius Borore is yet to pronounce
himself on Mabarizi’s application.
Notably, in his submissions when he appeared before Masaka High Court on
Tuesday last week, Masaka Principal State Attorney Richard Birivumbuka indicated that
they are ready to proceed with the trial of the accused persons. He, however, asked the court to allow the prosecution to first argue the terrorism matter
in the International Crimes Division of the High court in Kampala before the
suspects are tried in Masaka.