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DPP Asked to Expedite Arua Fracas Investigations

This morning, State Prosecutor Paul Weponde asked the court for more time to conduct further investigations into the matter. The request was made in the presence of some of the suspects who had appeared before Magistrate Isaac Kintu for the mention of the case.
Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Addressing Journalists in Gulu After The Adjournment

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The court in Gulu has directed the directorate of Public Prosecutions to expedite investigations into treason charges against Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi and 34 others.

The charges stem from the arrest of the group members following the chaos that dominated the last day of campaigns ahead of the Arua Municipality by-election in August. It is alleged that Kyagulanyi and his contemporaries commanded a team of youths that obstructed the president's motorcade and pelted stones that smashed the windscreen of one of the vehicles in the convoy. In the aftermath, one Yasin Kawuma, a driver was shot dead.

This morning, State Prosecutor Paul Weponde asked the court for more time to conduct further investigations into the matter. The request was made in the presence of some of the suspects who had appeared before Magistrate Isaac Kintu for the mention of the case.

Henry Komakech Kilama, the lead lawyer for the suspects told the Court that the six months' period required for investigating a criminal case is running out for the state to prove prima facie evidence against the suspects. He said when it elapses; the suspects will not appear in court to signal the collapse of the case.

But the request by the state attracted resentment by Gulu Grade I Magistrate Isaac urging that the slow pace of investigations is denying the suspects the right to an expeditious trial. However, the Magistrate issued criminal summons against five of the suspects who were absent in court without notice.

They are Ntungamo Municipality Member of Parliament Gerald Karuhanga, Jinja East Member of Parliament Paul Mwiru and Arua residents namely Shaban Atiku, Charles Aniku, Wilberforce Tamale and Gamba Tumusiime.

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Earlier, lawyers representing the suspects had asked the court to compel the officers in charge of criminal investigations in Arua and Gulu to explain the status of exhibits impounded during their arrests. The two officers did not turn up in court.

But Kintu declined to reiterate the order earlier issued by Magistrate Yunus Ndiwalana saying he needs to peruse the case file to acquaint himself with the order. He adjourned the matter to January 10, next year.