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Accused Collapses as High Court Session Opens in Kitgum

The suspect, David Toloola, collapsed as soon as Gulu High Court Circuit resident judge Stephen Mubiru asked him to take a plea. He was rushed to Kitgum General Hospital for medical treatment.
A person accused of aggravated defilement has collapsed in Kitgum Magistrates court this afternoon.  This happened at the beginning of the month-long High Court Session for criminal cases committed in Kitgum and Lamwo districts.  

But the suspect, David Toloola, collapsed as soon as Gulu High Court Circuit resident judge Stephen Mubiru asked him to take a plea. He was rushed to Kitgum General Hospital for medical treatment.

The court also heard that Toloola first collapsed in Gulu, while being prepared for transfer to Kitgum where the session is currently ongoing. Following the incident, Justice Stephen Mubiru asked prison officials to present before the court, a medical report ascertaining if the accused is competent to stand trial.

The judge also fixed November 7, 2019 for the accused to return to the court and take a plea. 

However, the criminal session continued and the judge fixed dates for trial proceedings for the accused persons. The High Court session is scheduled to handle 29 cases of aggravated defilement, nine cases of rape, eight cases of murder, and five cases of aggravated robbery. 

According to the session cause list, 51 cases were presented for hearing, but 20 accused persons weren’t available in court today. The Officer in Charge of Gulu main regional government prison Emmanuel Mucunguzi told the court that the 20 include 19 who had opted for a plea bargain  and one who had passed on. The other 31 accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

The judge also replaced the 20 slots with cases from another list that was presented for the court’s consideration. The supplementary court cause list in question includes names of suspects and accused persons who had overstayed in custody at Kitgum Government Prison awaiting the trial before the high court.