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Lango Police Officers Prosecuting Criminal Cases

Jane Okuo Kajuga, the DPP spokesperson, says that police officers are only constitutionally mandated to investigate cases and present it to DPP for prosecution.

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Three Grade One Magistrates Court in Lango sub-region are using police officers to prosecute criminal cases instead of prosecutors from the Director of Public Prosecutions- DPP.

The affected courts are Aboke in Kole district, Aduku in Apac district and Apala in Alebtong district.

Martin Rukundo, the Lango regional Officer for the Directorate of Public Prosecutions says, as a result, they often use police officers to prosecute some cases.

Rukundo say this is done to avoid case backlogs in the lower courts.

Jane Okuo Kajuga, the DPP spokesperson, says that police officers are only constitutionally mandated to investigate cases and present it to DPP for prosecution.

Kajuga says lack of State Attorney in some lower courts across the country has often crippled prosecution hence causing delays in delivering justice.

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Okuo adds that currently, DPP is unable to recruit more State Attorneys due to inadequate funding by the government.

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John Peter Ematu, the North Kyoga Regional Police Commander says lack of State Attorneys in the lower courts has often forced Police to detain suspects beyond the 48-hour mandatory detention period.

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He cited the case of Oyam district where two suspects who were held on charges of aggravated robbery escaped from custody with a police gun.

Article 120 (1) of the Constitution of Uganda mandates the DPP to direct Police to carry out investigations of a criminal nature, but not to prosecute criminal cases.

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