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Coronavirus: Court Asks for Written Submissions in Tumukunde Bail Application

Justice Wilson Kwesiga issued the orders on Monday, saying the decision was prompted by the prevailing Corona virus threat and enforcement of the government ban on public gatherings.
24 Mar 2020 16:25
Retired Lt General Henry Tumukunde. File Photo
 The High Court Criminal Division has asked for written submission from all parties in the bail application of former Security Minister, Lt. General. Henry Tumukunde.    Justice Wilson Kwesiga issued the orders on Monday, saying the decision was prompted by the prevailing Corona virus threat and enforcement of the government ban on public gatherings.  

He directed Tumukunde through his lawyers from Wameli and Company Advocates to file written submissions supporting their documental evidence and serve the State Prosecutors not later than March 28th. The state is expected to reply not later than April 3rd, 2020. He said if there any rejoinders from Tumukunde’s team it should be done by April 6th to enable him deliver his ruling on the application on April 14th, 2020.

 

He also directed that Tumukunde's pretrial proceedings be transferred from City Hall Court to the Chief Magistrates Court at Buganda Road Court so that they can be conducted through video conferencing. Tumukunde applied for bail on Friday last week through his lawyers Anthony Wameli, Alex Luganda and Godfrey Turyamusiima. 

He asked court to release him temporarily pending conclusion of his cases, in which he is jointly charged with treason and unlawful possession of firearms. In his application Tumukunde contends that he is 61 years of age and that the charges against him are bailable. He also noted that his Constitutional right to liberty was infringed upon when he was detained at Kireka Special Investigations Unit for six days without being charged.

He also observes that he is a family man legally married to Stella Tumukunde, with whom they have sired seven children who are finding difficulties to survive since he is the sole bread winner at home. Apart from pleading that he is still innocent until proven guilty, Tumukunde also states that he is a presidential aspirant and yet to start his country wide consultations in preparation of the 2021 general Elections. 

He backs this with his letter notifying Electoral Commission about his presidential bid. Tumukunde notes that he is ready to abide by any bail conditions set by court, adding that he will not interfere with witnesses and prosecution investigations. He also notes that there's likelihood that his trial will delay since there's no confirmed date as to when it will kick off. 

Tumukunde’s lawyer, Anthony Wameli told URN that the time frame issued by Justice Kwesiga is challenging for his client, says three more weeks for his client in prison is bad enough. Tumukunde found himself in Luzira prison after he reportedly made statements calling for the unlawful change of the legitimate Government of Uganda while appearing on the Kamwokya based NBS TV during the Morning Breeze Program of March 5th 2020.

He reportedly said that "if  I was Rwanda I would wish to support people who want to cause change in Uganda" a statement which the Prosecution says was aimed at instigating the Republic of Rwanda to invade Uganda to cause unlawful change of Government. It is also alleged that on March 13, 2020 while at Impala Avenue in Kampala District, Tumukunde was found in illegal possession of an AK 47 rifle Registration number 19865 and Star Pistol Registration number EL 860030. Tumukunde has since denied the offenses.  

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