Mabirizi wants the pretrial hearing halted until the determination of his constitutional petition challenging the legality of the charges against the legislators and five others.
MPs Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana at Court
Mabirizi has petitioned the International Crimes Division-ICD of the High Court
seeking to halt the hearing of the case in which Kawempe North Member
of Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya and his Makindye West counterpart Allan
Ssewanyana are accused of murder and terrorism-related charges.
wants the pretrial hearing halted until the determination of his constitutional
petition challenging the legality of the charges against the legislators and
The others are Jackson Kanyike, John Mugerwa, Bull Wamala, Mike Sserwadda, and
21, 2021, the Masaka Chief Magistrate's court committed the group to face trial
in the High Court on a string of charges including murder, attempted murder,
aiding, and abetting terrorism.
stem from their alleged involvement in the greater Masaka machete killings which occurred
between March and June 2021, and claimed more than 20 people and left scores
they were committed for trial, the High Court had on September 21st, 2021,
granted the MPs bail of Shillings 20 million on terrorism-related charges before
the state slapped them with an additional charge of murdering Joseph Bwanika
eight days later.
petitioned the Constitutional Court, arguing that the additional charges
brought on a different criminal file amount to political persecution, which is
unjustifiable in a free and democratic society and therefore
said that the additional charges deprived Ssewanyana and Ssegirinya of 20
million Shillings, which should not have been the case had the state presented an
amended charge sheet.
According to Mabirizi, the state actions made it hard for the MPs to get effective
representation from a lawyer of their choice at their own expense and it
required them to make new bail applications on offenses alleged to have been
committed within the same period and area.
He asked the
constitutional court to quash the duo’s trial and order their immediate and
unconditional release and award him general and exemplary damages for the
disturbances arising from the said state actions which he described as
application before the International Crimes Division -ICD Mabirizi contends
that the petition in question came up for hearing on June 16th, 2022 but it was
that this was because two members of the panel disqualified themselves from
presiding over the matter and the Court promised to re-fix it soon as possible.
to Mabirizi, his constitutional petition raises serious issues that require
interpretation by the Constitutional Court, and there is a threat of conducting
the trial proceedings before the determination of the petition since the
criminal matter is now at the pretrial stage.
applicant together with Honorable Allan Ssewanyana Aloysious and Honorable
Ssegirinya Muhammad will suffer irreparable injury if the application is not granted",
interest of justice, Mabirizi wants his application to be granted or in the
alternative, the Court merges the two files against the accused such that they
can be heard and determined together to avoid double Jeopardy and persecution.
which lists the Director of Public Prosecutions, Attorney General, and the
accused persons as the respondents to this case is yet to be fixed for hearing.
When contacted lawyer Geoffrey Turyamusiima who represents four of the seven
accused persons in this case over the matter, he said that during the hearing of
the application, he will strongly object to it and ask for dismissal on the
basis that it will infringe on the right to a fair and speedy hearing.
Mabirizi remains at Luzira Maximum Upper-security prison since February 22nd, 2022
serving a jail term of 18 months for contempt of Court.